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Archaeology & History

Scientists recreate voice of Egyptian mummy

By T.K. Randall
January 27, 2020 · Comment icon 9 comments

It is now possible to hear the voices of the dead. Image Credit: Jean-Loon Gerome
The voice of an ancient Egyptian man who died 3,000 years ago has been recreated for the first time.
To achieve this, scientists from several British universities began by scanning the remains of Nesyamun - a priest from Thebes who lived during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses XI.

The team then created a precise replica of his voice box using 3D-printing, before combining it with an artificial larynx to synthesize an audible vowel sound.

The experiment was particularly apt as Nesyamun would have been praised for his voice when he was alive owing to the fact that his various ritual duties would have almost certainly included singing.

It was even his express wish that he be heard in the afterlife.
"It's actually written on his coffin - it was what he wanted," said archaeology professor John Schofield from the University of York. "In a way, we've managed to make that wish come true."

While there is still some way to go before the reproduction of his voice can be used to recite full sentences, this is the first time that a technique such as this has ever been used to bring back the voice of someone who has died.

The sheer age of his remains makes the achievement all the more remarkable.

You can hear the vowel sound recreation in the video below (skip to 00:28s).

Source: BBC News | Comments (9)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by glorybebe 4 years ago
That is so cool!
Comment icon #2 Posted by RoofGardener 4 years ago
ROFL.  I heard about this on BBC Radio 4 whilst I was driveing home.  They actually PLAYED their simulation of the sound that the priest would have made.  Umm... to say the least... it was unconvincing. (which they admited themselves.. they hadn't been able to simulate a tongue yet). 
Comment icon #3 Posted by Manwon Lender 4 years ago
I wonder if they could also reproduced his bowel track, If they could I bet they could make him fart, I bet he has some serious pent up gas after all these years. Peace
Comment icon #4 Posted by Dumbledore the Awesome 4 years ago
Comment icon #5 Posted by flying squid 4 years ago
Scientists Recreate The Voice of a 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian Priest's Mummy If the dead could talk, they'd probably have a lot to say. Still, it's pretty darn tough when you can only make one sound and you've lost your tongue.Under these unforgiving conditions, the 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy Nesyamun should be forgiven for merely grumbling out an "eeeeyhh".After several millennia of not making a peep, that was the sound scientists heard when they 3D printed the mummy's vocal tract - an elongated groan somewhere between the vowels of bed and bad. [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by SD455GTO 4 years ago
Seems like a total waste of time and effort.
Comment icon #7 Posted by AllPossible 4 years ago
Off subject here but when I did my 23 and me dna test I found out my paternal side was traced back to Ramesses III. I thought was pretty cool
Comment icon #8 Posted by DreadLordAvatar 4 years ago
Spooky music in YouTube video = evidence of authentic “Egyptian” mummy extraterrestrial
Comment icon #9 Posted by MissJatti 4 years ago
Air Air Air Air Air Air, the pharaoh was suffocating in his sarcophagus, with no air.

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