2020-01-24 13:33:21 UTC
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.
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."