Select Page

Miriam Kolar


Weatherhead Resident Scholar

Affiliation at time of award:
Five College Associate

Listening Across Time and Geography: The Study of Sound in Prehistory

Immediate. Ephemeral. Dynamic. Sound pervades human experience and communication.

Scholars of sound in prehistory tested researchers’ methodologies in a growing diversity of archaeological research contexts; yet, what has been published that compares investigatory approaches, and what places this work in a broader anthropological context? Drawing on nearly a decade of fieldwork, experimental, experiential, and computational research, Dr. Kolar proposes to produce a manuscript suitable for both print and digital platforms that will pose and compare frameworks and methodologies for the study of sound in prehistory. Taking a broad view of sound-related evidence from ancient life, the project demonstrates how acoustical, psychoacoustical, and musical methodologies can be usefully interrelated in archaeological contexts, transcending normative disciplinary boundaries that separate the materiality and reception of sound from its abstract and cultural description. Applied to archaeological research, these ideas open new fields of inquiry, and enhance our engagement with remnants of ancient life.

Read Dr. Kolar’s article:The Huánuco Pampa acoustical field survey: an efficient, comparative archaeoacoustical method for studying sonic communication dynamics” published in the Heritage Science Journal, June 2018.



Listening Across Time and Geography: Exploring Sound in Archaeology

Dobkin Boardroom, SAR Administration Building
Wednesday, October 5, 2016, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free

Immediate, ephemeral, dynamic: sound pervades human experience and communication. Sharing examples from her integrative archaeoacoustics fieldwork in the Andes, Dr. Miriam Kolar demonstrates how a multidisciplinary fusion of methodologies––acoustical, psychoacoustical, musical, ethnological, and computational, among others––enriches our understanding of ancient life.

Videography by José Luis Cruzado Coronel.