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Thread: Mayans 'played' pyramids to make music for rain god

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    Forum Elder JonnyMcA's Avatar
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    Default Mayans 'played' pyramids to make music for rain god

    From NewScientist

    Mayans 'played' pyramids to make music for rain god

    SIT on the steps of Mexico's El Castillo pyramid in Chichen Itza and you may hear a confusing sound. As other visitors climb the colossal staircase their footsteps begin to sound like raindrops falling into a bucket of water as they near the top. Were the Mayan temple builders trying to communicate with their gods?

    The discovery of the raindrop "music" in another pyramid suggests that at least some of Mexico's pyramids were deliberately built for this purpose. Some of the structures consist of a combination of steps and platforms, while others, like El Castillo, resemble the more even-stepped Egyptian pyramids.

    Researchers were familiar with the raindrop sounds made by footsteps on El Castillo - a hollow pyramid on the Yucatán Peninsula. But why the steps should sound like this and whether the effect was intentional remained unclear.

    To investigate further, Jorge Cruz of the Professional School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in Mexico City and Nico Declercq of the Georgia Institute of Technology compared the frequency of sounds made by people walking up El Castillo with those made at the solid, uneven-stepped Moon Pyramid at Teotihuacan in central Mexico.

    At each pyramid, they measured the sounds they heard near the base of the pyramid when a student was climbing higher up. Remarkably similar raindrop noises, of similar frequency, were recorded at both pyramids, suggesting that rather than being caused by El Castillo being hollow, the noise is probably caused by sound waves travelling through the steps hitting a corrugated surface, and being diffracted, causing the particular raindrop sound waves to propagate down along the stairs (Acta Acustica united with Acustica, DOI: 10.3813/AAA.918216).

    El Castillo is widely believed to have been devoted to the feathered serpent god Kukulcan, but Cruz thinks it may also have been a temple to the rain god Chaac. Indeed, a mask of Chaac is found at the top of El Castillo and also in the Moon Pyramid. "The Mexican pyramids, with some imagination, can be considered musical instruments dating back to the Mayan civilisation," says Cruz, although he adds that there is no direct evidence that the Mayans actually played them.
    The journal article can be found here The Acoustic Raindrop Effect at Mexican Pyramids: The Architects' Homage to the Rain God Chac? and the abstract is below.

    Abstract:
    Mesoamerican pyramids have been in the center of attention ever since their discovery by westerners because of their architectural beauty, their physical connection to ancient Indian cultures, their relationship to astronomy and religion or simply because of their monumental size and attractive decor for tourist pictures. An acoustic effect first encountered by Declercq (reported in J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 116(6), 3328-3335, 2004) is the raindrop effect. When visitors climb the colossal staircase of Maya pyramids, their footsteps are transformed into sound having distinct frequencies similar to raindrops falling in a bucket filled with water. The current paper reports in situ experiments followed by numerical simulations of the raindrop effect together with a physical explanation. In addition to numerical simulations, a rule of thumb formula is extracted from the calculations that enable the prediction of the acoustic raindrop frequency at any other pyramid in Mexico. If the raindrop effect is a phenomenon that was intentionally incorporated in the construction of the Maya pyramids, such as the pyramid in Chichen Itza, then it was most probably related to the rain god Chac for which there is ubiquitous archaeological evidence decorated on the pyramid itself.
    Ish may be able to get a copy of this from her sources, so drop her an email if you are interested to see if that is possible.

    Jonny
    It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little more about it.

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    Forum owner Ishtar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mayans 'played' pyramids to make music for rain god

    Great post, Jonny.

    Yes, I do have the paper, so please email me or PM me if you would like it.
    Ishtar's Gate ~ Inter-disciplinary, inter-dimensional, deep research into the knowledge of our earliest ancestors.







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    Forum Elder stephjn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mayans 'played' pyramids to make music for rain god

    Echoes of the past: The sites and sounds of prehistory

    Updated 10:29 27 August 2010 by Trevor Cox

    Did our ancient ancestors build to please the ears as well as the eyes? Trevor Cox pitches into the controversial claims of acoustic archaeologists. And in our web-only article Acoustic archaeology: The secret sounds of Stonehenge, he explains how the acoustic footprint of the world's most famous prehistoric monument was measured.
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...html?full=true

    Acoustic archaeology: The secret sounds of Stonehenge
    Trevor Cox reveals how the acoustic footprint of the world's most famous prehistoric monument was measured

    Just after sunrise on a misty spring morning last year, my fellow acoustician at the University of Salford, Bruno Fazenda, and Rupert Till of the University of Huddersfield, UK, could be found wandering around Stonehenge popping balloons. This was not some bizarre pagan ritual. It was a serious attempt to capture the "impulse response" of the ancient southern English stone circle, and with it perhaps start to determine how Stonehenge might have sounded to our ancestors.
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...tonehenge.html

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    Forum owner Ishtar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mayans 'played' pyramids to make music for rain god

    Thanks, very interesting Stephen.

    If you play the sound extract on the second link, where they take the resonance created by the stones into effect, it sounds like shamanic drumming.
    Ishtar's Gate ~ Inter-disciplinary, inter-dimensional, deep research into the knowledge of our earliest ancestors.







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    Default Re: Mayans 'played' pyramids to make music for rain god

    Have a look at Aaron Watson’s research into the acoustic properties at Neolithic sites, including Stonehenge. He relates the frequency of sound produced as being ideal for entering trance.

    http://www.monumental.uk.com/site/research/
    New Book Out Now: The Shaman's Spirit: Discovering the Wisdom of Nature, Power Animals, Sacred Places and Rituals http://www.PrehistoricShamanism.com.

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    Default Re: Mayans 'played' pyramids to make music for rain god

    Have heard similar at Teotihuacan, specifically echoes from each step of the Plumed Serpent temple platform sort of come back to you in a sequentially descending note reminiscent of a bird call. I'm in two minds as to whether the feature was deliberate, or at least originally deliberate, but I'm pretty sure it's something they would have appreciated a great deal.

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