Posts Tagged ‘quarry’

The sounds of antiquity

Posted on Mar 19, 2009

I spent my afternoon yesterday doing what anyone at Giza might do: timing the intervals between car horns outside my hotel. On average, there is a car horn every 3.5 seconds.

All manner of traffic at all hours.

All manner of traffic at all hours.

Sometimes multiple horns blared at once, although there was one outlier period of 23 seconds with no horns. Some beeped in gentle alert, some ran on for several seconds in exasperated exclamation, and some seemed to tap a rhythmic song to their fellow drivers. This goes on long into the early morning hours every day.

(All timing was done only for horns honked directly in front of the hotel. I ignored the ones I could hear in either direction down the street.)


All day and all night.

All day and all night.


A recent study found that the AVERAGE (not peak) decibel level on Cairo streets is above 80db. This is near the range of pain and injury, which starts at around 90db.

The horns don’t bother me. In fact, I’ve awakened at 3:00 am and been startled by the relative quiet; relative being fewer horns spaced farther apart.

Noise levels that would drive me insane at home seem like part of the music of Cairo when I’m here.READ MORE »