The Significance of Sound Diffraction Effects in Predicting Acoustics in Ancient Theatres.
This paper examines the effect of sound diffraction in predicting sound propagation in ancient theatres. Few simulation studies to date concerning ancient theatre acoustics were conducted with diffraction effects. While sound diffraction effects in ancient theatres are known qualitatively, rarely have they been quantitatively documented. In this paper, the ancient theatre of Kourion in Cyprus was acoustically modeled and simulated, in a commercially available software application which handles also sound diffraction to high orders. Sound measurements were also taken at the theatre for comparison purposes. All analyses were conducted in the frequency domain. Comparison of results of the variation of sound pressure level with distance and frequency shows that the contribution of sound diffraction is significant. It is proposed that future acoustical simulations of ancient theatres should include sound diffraction effects.