The sonification of archaeological data is a very novel concept, one that has yet to be utilized by researchers in the archaeological field for “serious” work. It is hoped that in the future, with better sharing practices, members of the digital archaeology community, as well as other potentially interested parties such as artists, can take advantage of the data more and create more auditory representations that can potentially shape how we view it.
The sound choices of the different elements were based on the relative hardness of the elements according to Moh’s scale. Harder elements have a “harder” sound chosen for them, while softer elements have a “softer” sound. Sawtooth waves were chosen for the “harder” sounds, while simple sine waves were chosen for “softer” sounds. These sounds were all concatenated together using additive synthesis to create one, continuous sound. The year parameter and the potassium concentration parameters were both chosen to control a biquad object: the year controls the cutoff frequency, and the potassium concentration controls the gain. In addition to continuous sound, there is also binary sound in the form of an audio clip that plays whenever the ICP concentration of potassium reaches over 20000. The end result of this sound synthesis is a “gritty” sound, one that reflects the nature of the chosen material culture data, which came from earthen materials to begin with.