Acoustic pots devices in ancient buildings.

Medieval and modern churches may conserve in their walls or vaults some potteries, imbedded in the walls, from which the only part we can see is the neck, opened on the inner space of the building. The use of these architectural potteries, often unknown, has sometimes been misinterpreted.  Most of the time, these potteries were used as a correction device in order to improve the perception of the voices spoken and sung, not only into religious buildings but also in some civil buildings. For the Scholars who discovered these pots in the 19th century, their aim has always been a mystery.

Since then, many of them have disappeared during restoration works, considered at the time lacking interest. . Thanks to an interdisciplinary work involving historians, archeologists, linguists, acousticians, musicologists we managed after many years to gather all this knowledge in this site which exposes the assessment of nowadays knowledge and a number of different research trails. The different information provided by ancient texts and observations from material studies of the pots have been confronted to frequency measures, in order to understand better the physical phenomena and the acoustic effects of these potteries inserted into the wall.

Beyond the discovery of this forgotten practice, our main concern today is the preservation of these devices.

Bénédicte Palazzo-Bertholon et Jean-Christophe Valière

Translation : Salomé Palazzo