Some experimental archaeology in the speaker circle at the York Festival of Ideas

Starr Carr: Sonic Horizons of the Mesolithic was a research project and installation created by Jon in collaboration with archaeologist Dr Ben Elliot. Working closely with the Post Glacial research team, and the Yorkshire Museums Trust, an installation piece and archive of resources were created relating to the world famous archaeological site of Star Carr in North Yorkshire.

The outdoor sound installation in the Yorkshire Museum Gardens

An installation was created reimagining the sonic experience of people living at the site, positioned on the shores of what was an ancient lake, Lake Flixton, over 11,000 years ago. This was then played back using an outdoor ambisonic speaker array in various locations, including the Yorkshire Museum Gardens, on site at Star Carr as part of an open day, and at the University of York’s Festival of Ideas.

Inspiring the next generation of archaeologists at the York Festival of Ideas.

The piece was initially created to accompany an exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum based on Star Carr, and Jon and Ben also provided ambient sound for the exhibition. A stereo mix of the soundscape is now in use at the Rotunda Museum in Scarborough, used to accompany a permanent display relating to the Star Carr site.

The installation on site at Star Carr

A paper was written on the project, published in the prestigious journal World Archaeology, which can be accessed using the link below:

Star Carr Sonic Horizons – Journal of World Archaeology paper


A detailed description of the project can also be found in the relevant chapter from my PhD thesis below:


Star Carr – Sonic Horizons of the Mesolithic – Jon Hughes PhD thesis chapter