Discussion:
The Mummy Speaks
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Horace LaBadie
2020-01-24 13:33:21 UTC
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In an archaeology-adjacent story from Leeds, researchers have re-created
the vocal tract of the mummified remains of an Ancient Egyptian priest,
Nesyamun, to produce a sound, the first such experiment ever attempted.

<https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-56316-y>


Abstract

The sound of a 3,000 year old mummified individual has been accurately
reproduced as a vowel-like sound based on measurements of the precise
dimensions of his extant vocal tract following Computed Tomography (CT)
scanning, enabling the creation of a 3-D printed vocal tract. By using
the Vocal Tract Organ, which provides a user-controllable artificial
larynx sound source, a vowel sound is synthesised which compares
favourably with vowels of modern individuals.

[...]

"The Egyptian Nesyamun (Fig. 1) lived during the politically volatile
reign of pharaoh Ramses XI (c.10991069 BC) over 3000 years ago, working
as a scribe and priest at the state temple of Karnak in Thebes (modern
Luxor). His voice was an essential part of his ritual duties which
involved spoken as well as sung elements."
JTEM
2020-01-25 19:48:39 UTC
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Post by Horace LaBadie
In an archaeology-adjacent story from Leeds, researchers have re-created
the vocal tract of the mummified remains of an Ancient Egyptian priest,
Nesyamun, to produce a sound, the first such experiment ever attempted.
But it's literally "a" sound.

This story is perplexing. It /Sounds/ cool but then you notice that
they reproduced one whole sound -- not even a single word!

AND THEN you ask yourself, "What is the point?"

Is a human voice from ancient Egypt supposed to sound different?
They're modern humans, just like us, why should an ancient sound
the least bit different? So, is there even a point to this?

I mean it's interesting but wouldn't it be more interesting to do this
for Abraham Lincoln, or Napoleon or any other historical figure whom
we know so much about, but died before the technology to record
the sound of a voice?

In _That_ case, an actual historical figure, we have a known language
with known phonic qualities so if we could work out sounds we could
apply them to words and actually find out what they sounded like!

No such like with ancient Egypt...

And does finding out what they sounded like really matter, even for
historical figures? It would be cool, don't get me wrong, and if you
asked me if I'd want to know I'd say "Yes" (assuming I didn't
enthusiastically shout it) but in the grand scheme of things could
it actually matter? Is this how we should be spending our research
dollars?

Hmm?








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https://jtem.tumblr.com/post/190460649908

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