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Archaeoacoustic exploration in Montebello Castle (Rimini, Italy)

TAG: archaeoacoustics, archaeo-acoustics, archeology, vibration, infrasound, Montebello, Rimini, Azzurrina, vibrations, vibrational energy, SBRG, SB Research Group

With the start of summer SBRG group resumed their missions for the study of physical phenomena and archaeoacoustics in various sacred sites. With the rain or strong wind it is not possible to make measurements outdoors and even indoors the sound of water can prevent successful recordings.

Given the current political climate in the Balkans, the area of our research for the last 5 years, we have turned our attention to Italian archaeological sites that have very interesting physical phenomena or archaeoacoustic proprieties. Recalling that our research in Italy has expanded from Monte Amiata (Siena) to Cividale Hypogeum (Udine) to the Acropolis of Alatri (Frosinone) and Argimusco plateau (Messina) that we have examined in depth. We cannot mention here a dozen other national of real interest that we have explored more superficially.

The initial choice for this year was the Castle of Montebello, otherwise known as the Castle of Azzurrina. It is located in Montebello Torriana (Rimini) above the Valley of Marecchia and Uso. It is an interesting archaeological site whose memory is lost in time. We know that in the third century AD the Roman Empire erected an observation tower whose remains are still present today.

Fig. 1 - Montebello Castle in its current state


Fig. 2 - The entrance to the main building of the castle reveals the medieval origins


Fig. 3 - Some pictures of the inner courtyard of the castle


In the Middle Ages with the successive layers of defense it became a real castle whose first documentation dates from the twelfth century. In fact, the castle from 1186 became the property of the Malatesta family who bought the estate for an amount of money so high of 110 pounds of golden Lucca coins. Subsequently the Malatesta lost the castle in 1462 by the troops of Pope Pius II who in 1464 settled in the feud, and then in the castle. He gave the castle to the counts Guidi di Romagna, who have remained the owners to the present day.

The hypothesis of our study is that the many physical phenomena inside the castle originated before the rise of the Roman fortress (and later castle). That the hill upon which the castle sits was a sacred place and was specifically chosen because of its natural characteristics. Only later the place was used for defense as a settlement in wars.


Fig. 4 - The castle overlooking the Valley of Marecchia and Uso, with an amazing view from the manors tower

During the night of the June 21, 2015, Summer Solstice, and thanks to special permission from the manager to whom we are really very grateful, we placed our equipment inside. We chose this night because physical phenomena appear to be influenced by the increase of peculiar astronomical situation, as at other sacred sites (such as the acropolis of Alatri).


Fig. 5 - The striking appearance of the castle and the panorama visible from it on the night of June 21, 2015 after positioning our equipment


We examined the various rooms of the castle in contact with the ground and we were not disappointed. From the beginning our equipment perceived an abnormal vibration situation. Low frequencies are present in abundance everywhere and particularly in the tower, where the base acted as an ancient cold food storage area and where it is said, disappeared,the daughter of the commander of the castle, the famous child Azzurrina.

In this area there is also an old well with blades on the sides now closed by a floor that could have acted as a sounding board for the frequencies coming from underground. Having facilitated the collection of data following the same method as other sacred sites where we used similar natural transducers.



Fig. 6 - The ancient cold food storage area. Currently there is no underground access for the public


Fig. 7 - The area of microphone positions on top of an old well now closed

In particular, using the normal standard protocol registration SBRG (Standard SBSA), we found the frequency peaks of 7, 14 and 23 Hz (the last clearly perceivable by ear). These three peaks that alternate in volume, are always present. As regards the origin it is possible to hypothesize the movement of groundwater or even the movement of the geological fault. In both possibilities the vibrations appear to be stable and continuous.



Fig. 8 – The spectral analysis at different times of vibrations present in the vicinity of the ancient icebox in the logarithmic scale. The three peaks of low frequencies appear at different times with different volume, but are always present


Here is a sound sample from the tower in which the infrasonic band was made audible by transposingthrough special software, 17Hz upwards of the recorded frequencies. For greater appreciation of frequencies use high-fidelity stereo headphones and not the little laptop speakers as there is a large component of low frequencies.

The most interesting results have been achieved in the so-called "room of the strongbox" where in recent years the ground penetrating radar showed the presence of a circular object of about half a meter across, a gold or silver plate or a shield, buried in the center of the room at a meter and a half under the paving. In this room in the past years there has been several occurances of unexplained physical phenomena.


Fig. 9 - The so-called "Room of the Strogbox" where there are more perceptible vibrations, also subjectively, from underground especially in the middle of the room.


From the analysis by the variable resonance camera (TRV camera), it has emerged this room has a huge amount of vibration and in addition a spiral magnetic field which seems to interact with each person who comes into contact with it (see fig. 11).


Fig. 10 - L'analisi vibrazionale è stata eseguita mediante telecamera a risonanza variabile (TRV)The vibration analysis was performed using variable resonance camera (TRV camera)


Fig. 11 - The spiral magnetic field is detected by the "scattering" phenomenon recognized by the camera, or by the change of luminescence of the molecules of water steam caused by their alignment to the magnetic field.

Through the use of special software that is capable of enhancing the variations in brightness of the camera’s sensor pixels, it was possible to see the spread of vibrations from the underground air. These vibrations appear to be so powerful they can be felt or perceived through the palms of the hands via the Meissner corpuscles (receptors).

These receptors are found in the dermis surface layer of the skin occupying the marginal portion of the dermal papilla. They are particularly abundant in areas of skin without hair and thick as the ends of the fingers of the hands, soles of feet, lips and nipples. They are deputies to the fine movement receptors, that are tactile and can discriminate lower vibration frequencies. These receptors are widely stimulated by the vibrations found within this room.



Fig. 12 – This image represents the derivative of about 30 frames showing the areas of vibration more intense and persistent in time. The colored areas have different vibration frequencies where the higher density grows up to a meter of soil, showing greater inertia perceptible by the sensors of the Meissner present in the palms of hands and soles of the feet. This also accounts for the spiral field visible in the image 11


Fig. 13 - A picture of the researchers who carried out SBRG vibration pads. From the left: Paolo Debertolis and Daniele Gullà


 Fig. 14 - Still image of the castles keep


These preliminary results will be further detailed in an upcoming mission to be carried out in late summer.

Paolo Debertolis, Daniele Gullà – July 29, 2015


The research team SBRG is extremely grateful to Mrs. Daniela Condello Tiboni who has devoted much of her time for making available every corner of the castle for archaeoacoustic analysis. At the same time we are grateful to the owners of the castle, the Counts Guidi di Romagna, for their availability.


Edited by Nina Earl


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