Melodies of God: The significance of the soundscape in conserving the Great Zimbabwe landscape

Posted on 24 May 2017

Ashton Sinamai's new paper examines holistic approaches for the conservation of sacred landscapes

A York postdoc has published a new paper examining how local communities connect and sustain place memory through preservation of intangible heritage.

Marie Curie Research Fellow Dr Ashton Sinamai argues that sacred landscapes are susceptible to cultural erosion if the focus is on material culture only. Soundscape, the relationship between people and the sounds around them, is an innovative way to understand the unquantifiable connections between people and place—connections that risk being eroded if the focus is on material culture only.

Using Great Zimbabwe, the way in which local communities connect and sustain place memory through preservation of intangible heritage is examined. Several events at Great Zimbabwe have shown that soundscape is one way to represent these connections and that preserving the soundscape can also enhance tangible heritage conservation.

Ashton's research is highlighted in this month's Researcher in Focus section.

Read the paper at the Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritagehttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20518196.2017.1323823