The Mummy Spoke

The voice of an Ancient Egyptian Mummy heard after 3,000 years

The voice of an ancient Priest has been heard for the first time following his death more than 3,000 years ago. The mummified body of the ancient Egyptian priest Nesyamun underwent medical scans bringing into reality a detailed reconstruction of his vocal tract. Nesyamun’s ornate coffin has been on display in Leeds since the 1820’s. According to project researchers interior medical scans of the mummy had been used to recreate a digital, 3D model of the insides of the individual’s throat and mouth. Later the 3D-printed vocal tract was combined with an artificial larynx for recreating a single sound from Nesyamun’s voice.  The voice of this ancient priest had not been heard since the 11th century B.C. The researchers have mentioned in their scientific reports that part of the muscle bulk of the individual’s tongue and his soft palate is missing. Previous efforts to reproduce ancient voices could only approximate them using animated facial reconstruction with software. Conversely Nesyamun’s voice is constructed on an extant vocal tract preserved over three millennia.

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