Steven Waller’s intriguing idea is that ancient Britons could have based the layout of the great monument, in part, on the way they perceived sound.
He has been able to show how two flutes played in a field can produce an auditory illusion that mimics in space the position of the henge’s pillars.
Mr Waller presented the idea at the AAAS meeting in Vancouver, Canada.
“Put all this ‘vision in your mind’ together and it forms a Stonehenge-like structure.”
The La Mesa, California-based researcher said he had demonstrated the auditory henge effect using blindfolded subjects.
He took these people into a field where two pipers were playing and afterwards asked them to draw diagrams of the soundscape they had experienced.
“These people were not told anything about interference patterns or Stonehenge; they were completely naive subjects,” he recalled.