The remarkable subterranean architecture of the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum on Malta has generated many claims about its dramatic acoustic effects, but previous studies have lacked rigour. A systematic, methodical approach has now been applied to measure the acoustic properties of the site, and to test earlier assertions. The results confirm some, but not all, prior observations, and demonstrate how a sound-based approach can contribute to an understanding of the archaeological context. It is argued that for the people who created the Hypogeum, the acoustics must have had particular significance and ritual power.
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