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International team of scientists to study hypogeum acoustics

An international team of scientists is to come to Malta to study the hypogeum of Hal Saflieni, which is believed to be the oldest prehistoric underground temple in the world.

The focus of their studies will be the unique acoustic properties found within the underground chambers.

Specialist website Ancient Origins reports that it is believed that the hypogeum was originally used as a sanctuary, possibly for an oracle. It is for this reason that a unique chamber carved out of solid limestone and demonstrating incredible acoustic properties has been called ‘the Oracle Chamber’. According to William Arthur Griffiths, who wrote ‘Malta and its Recently Discovered Prehistoric Temples’, a word spoken in the Oracle room is “magnified a hundredfold and is audible throughout the entire structure.

The acoustic properties within the Hypogeum have already been studied extensively. It was found by Maltese composer Ruben Zahra and a research team from Italy that sound resonates at 110 Hz within the Oracle chamber, and this matches the same or similar frequency that has been found in many other ancient chambers around the world, including Newgrange in Ireland.

According to Dr Robert Jahn from Princeton University, it may be the dimensions of the room or the quality of the stone that determines the exact pitch of this echo behaviour. : http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology-mysterious-phenomena/experts-unravel-sound-effects-malta-s-hypogeum-hal#.Ut4-OIHasz8.twitter

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