Acoustics Expert: Cavemen Must Have Loved to Sing

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Ancient hunters painted the sections of their cave dwellings where singing, humming and music sounded best, a new study suggests.

Analyzing the famous, ochre-splashed cave walls of southwestern France, the most densely painted areas were also those with the best acoustics, the scientists found.

Humming into some bends in the wall even produced sounds mimicking the animals painted there.

The Upper Paleolithic people responsible for the paintings had likely fine-tuned their hearing to recognize the sound qualities in certain parts of the cave and chose to do their artwork there as a kind of landmark, perhaps as part of a singing ritual, said researcher Iegor Reznikoff, a specialist in ancient music at the University of Paris X in Nanterre.

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