Gong rocks, Serengeti National Park

This granite boulder makes a metallic clang and is covered in percussive marks.

Musical artefacts provide some evidence of what our ancestors’ listened to. Unlikely as it may seem, some large boulders can ring with a metallic clang when struck with another stone. Hammered indents on large boulders like this one in the Serengeti show us that the rocks were struck and played in the past. Some of these rock gongs are assumed to date back to antiquity, but getting exact dates of use from percussion marks is difficult.


North eastern end of the Moru Kopjes area, with the Mbalageti river a short distance east of it. You can also find rock gongs at other sites in Africa.


Seronera photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

Stonehenge Replica

Experience a impression of the ancient acoustics of Stonehenge.

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What was the acoustic like within Stonehenge thousands of years ago? It’s difficult to get an impression at the real Stonehenge because too many stones are missing or displaced. However, a trip to this complete replica in the USA gives an impression of the old site. The replica was built as a monument to those who died in World War 1. Although made from concrete rather than stone, the acoustic within the circle is similar to the original.

Rupert Till explores how a drum beat is changed by the stonecircle.

The effect of the stones can be heard by comparing these two recordings. The first is a recording of clapping away from the standing stones out in the open and the second a recording of clapping within the stone circle. The sound can be heard to ring and reverberate within the stone circle – it is surprising how long each clap rings for, considering there is no ceiling on the stone circle to stop the sound disappearing into the sky.

Clapping away from the standing stones out in the open
Clapping within the stone circle


The Maryhill Stonehenge is part of the Maryhill Museum of Art three miles east of the museum just off Highway 14.


Sounds from Bruno Fazenda University of Salford and Rupert Till University of Huddersfield