29 thoughts on “A mummy’s voice

  1. Mackenzie Hoffman

    When I see this, I am confused about the motivation behind the project. Why are we creating this synthetic voice of someone who died 3,000 years ago? What do the researchers hope to gain? Especially when the voice they would produce would sound nothing like the person it supposedly belongs to. Because of the deterioration of crucial parts including the soft pallet and the unique shape of their vocal cords and the imperfect technology used. Disregarding ethics, with the voice produced not being able to fulfill the goal behind starting the project in the first place and no true reason to continue, the project has no right to exist.

    My only personal explanation for the continuation and completion of this project is mans’ hubris and the disregard of the question “should we do this?” Instead, the researchers focused on the potential glory of “what if we succeed?”.

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  2. Jack Hurst

    The project for recreating the mummy’s voice is interesting in concept however; the product is expected. I am not sure what the researchers were going to expect from the mummy’s voice. Their efforts and time in some cases are put to good use but, their expertise could have been focused on another aspect on the mummy. Since mummy’s do not have the required bod parts/functions for researchers to recreate an accurate description of the voice.

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  3. sierra

    At first, I wondered why the researchers cared to know about what he sounded like and why they continued to figure out his voice even though it was likely tedious, and the outcome could end up not being remarkable. The explanation of “‘ It is the fulfillment of his belief’ to have his voice heard in the afterlife,” explains why they would even care to continue. As someone who’s voice was a large part of his community and his life, having his voice carry on 3,000 years after death is important to the mummy.
    As a current nursing student, I enjoyed the part in the article talking about how the anatomy of vocal cords. I think the unique shape of each person’s vocal cords contributing to their unique voice is fascinating, and I imagine it was even more enjoyable to use that to figure out this mummy’s voice.

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  4. Travis R. Erickson

    I don’t have any particular qualms in regard to how ethical this not even experiment was. I recognize I may be wrong in this regard however, unlike the Native American comparison, there is no group of ‘Egyptians’ to lay claim to it. While it is interesting I find it very useless. We don’t know how the Egyptian language sounds nor several other variables that were cited to be missing. I dislike expenditures like these because I know research funding is always sparce and to the larger populace this may discourage donations to institutions.

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    1. Maddy Sever

      I agree. The missing “richness and emotion” cannot be reconstructed or modeled based off this mummy, especially when we don’t even understand how the ancient Egyptian language sounded to begin with. I don’t think there was much scientific knowledge to gain by doing this obviously, but I do think it was very interesting and cool to see the ways we can utilize technology. Also a little eerie to think that’s how the voice of a 3,000 year old human sounded (roughly).

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  5. Katelyn Brawner

    I find this very interesting that researchers recreated this mummy’s voice. However, I have doubts about the research. The researchers concluded that the recreated voice of the mummy is not accurate. Moreover, I do not understand the significance of the research. After reading the article, I also have considered the ethics of this research. The research may be considered unethical.

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  6. Nina Sacco

    This is so fascinating that technology in today’s world can bring us back into the past. The recreation of the mummy’s voice is a really interesting study and beginning with this one sound could lead to the creation of other sounds and possibly even full words. In the article it talked about people usually encountering visual representations of the past, but now it might be possible to create an auditory encounter. It is a little bit disappointing that no one will truly ever know if the voice the researchers create is the priest’s actual voice, but it is really fascinating that technology can produce a voice that might be accurate.

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  7. Anna Jaca

    Concerning ethics in Egyptology, I think to essentially take a mummy from its tomb or take it apart in any way is disrespectful towards the Egyptians and their culture/past. This is one thing that has always got under my skin. I do understand that in order to learn more about the pharaohs/mummies themselves this is something that has to be done. However, we don’t really NEED to understand these things; it’s more of something that we WANT to understand.

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  8. Caroline

    Researchers trying to recreate a mummy’s voice would be an amazing discovery and a huge advance in technology but it also raises some questions, such as is the money being put into that research worth it there isn’t a way for the researchers to know if they have succeeded in the copying the voice, they could get a very close representation but if they aren’t 100% accurate, what is the point of the entire process? It would be amazing to hear what a pharaoh of Egypt sounds like but maybe some things are better left to the imagination.

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  9. Meghan McLees

    I think it is super interesting for researchers to recreate a mummy’s voice. This would help historians better understand Egyptian culture and their native language itself. Although the technology for this sounds interesting, it would also have to involve ethics. Since a mummy is a dead human would was left in a Egyptian coffin, the question would be, shouldn’t they have peace. Mummies were supposed to be left in peace, and with the new technology, researchers could be distrusting their peace.

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  10. Nathaniel Holic

    The first time I heard about the mummy’s voice was over the radio, and the people talking about it were making fun of it and I did not quite understand why. That was until they played what the findings were. The lack of accuracy to any voice that I have listened to shows why the researchers determined the voice was inaccurate. That being said, I believe the concept is very interesting, I believe that this is a beginning to developing a product that is accurate to reconstructing voices which could be used in in the future in different types of ways. Seeing what this experiment leads to in the future is what excites me the most about this project.

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  11. Zach Adams

    While this is super interesting and I do agree that it would be a very big development if they could do it, I just don’t really understand why they would put so much time and effort into it. I don’t understand what they gain out of hearing a voice and the article said it wasn’t the actual voice so really I don’t see why they would put so much time into it. Then there is also ethics since it is a human corpse and it’s not like they gave consent for them to do this to their dead body.

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  12. Anthony Tiberia

    I expected the scientist to discover more than a single syllable. It does make sense why only that one syllable was produced due to the fact it pulled from a stiff mummified airway. While this discovery was very interesting, I do not believe the recreated voice will not be very accurate. People have different tones, accents, speech impediments which contributes to the variation in our voices. It does not seem possible to recreate a person’s complex voice from a mummified voice box. Rather I believe that they should be doing other research on the mummy such as what was his diet and where the cotton for cloths was grown.

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  13. Micah Harlan

    I think that it is interesting that researchers were able to get the mummies voice. The knowledge really does not teach us anything about ancient mummies. There is nothing we can really do with the knowledge. I think these scientist did this just because it was more because they could.

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  14. Megan Meiser

    It is very fascinating to be able to hear what this mummy may have sounded like when it was alive, but because the scientists determined that the sound produced may not be accurate, it brings into question whether this project was really necessary. There does not seem to be a benefit to the result of this project, with it instead seeming like something that was done just for fun. Sure, it is cool to be able to hear the end product, but if they are only able to get a small and possibly inaccurate result, then it does not really make up for the time and effort that it took to achieve the result.

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  15. Michael Srover

    I thought this article was really interesting. I do question the purpose behind all their work if the sound that was produced was not accurate. But, I do see where there can be advancements where they could create, singing or speech.

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  16. Emily Shively

    I find this idea very interesting. Personally I am very curious to know if their accent sounded the same back then or even if pronunciations of words have wavered since. If they could construct this from the mummified airway, I think it would be a great accomplishment. The only issue I see with this is the mummy being tampered with and disrupting his peace. If it could be done without hard then I don’t see any issues with it.

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  17. Mackenzie Reynolds

    The title of this article gets you hooked and interested immediately! Once I started reading the article, however, I started thinking about the moral principles behind it. I believe that the research and experiments they were doing on this mummified body could have been useful for medical students or those who need larynx transplants. Parts of me felt like it is disrespectful to be poking and probing a longly deceased body especially if that person never agreed to it. Overall, it is an interesting find, but I think their efforts should have been placed somewhere else.

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  18. Nicole

    I think this article was interesting. It would be really cool to accurately re-create a mummy’s voice, but in this case they did not. It was said “It is the fulfillment of his belief to have his voice heard in the afterlife”. They put so much effort and time into creating this voice that isn’t even 100% accurate. Some of the necessary parts of the body had been deteriorated, so they couldn’t re-create the exact voice. I don’t believe this project was ethical, the mummy deserved to be left in peace.

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  19. Hannah Sexton

    The things scientists can do blows my mind. I would never had thought it was possible to give a yummy it’s voice back after 3000 years. I think it’s clever how the scientists went about it using a CT scan and 3-D printing a copy of his throat and then feeding an electrical signal through it, is genius. I think it’s cool that they were able to bring life to the mummy with idea of what it’s voice may have been like.

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  20. Joseph Hairston

    I like the technology because anything that improves our understanding of any ancient civilization is a good thing. It also reinforces that we need to support efforts to preserve ancient artifacts because they truly are windows to our past. The only question now would be, will we truly listen!

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  21. Elizabeth Glenn

    The things modern day technology can do and the things that scientist come up with amazes me. I would have never thought of trying to recreate the voice of a 3,00 year old mummy by using its vocal tract. The process to recreate his voice had to have been a long and tedious process. It also probably cost a lot because of how long it took and the technology used. However, I have to agree with Hannah Sexton that its was very clever to use a CT scan to get the measurements of the mummy’s vocal tract. Along with using a 3-D printer to create a copy of his throat using the measurements collected. While they could only get a single burst of sound it was really interesting to have an idea on how the mummy’s voice may have sounded.

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  22. Melissa Beirne

    The idea that this is even possible is crazy to me. Recreating a mummy’s voice using the actual vocal cords is amazing. I love how this will further allow for innovated ways for us to interact with mummies. I wonder what the future will allow us to see from mummies and how personal we can get with them.

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  23. Elena Streeter

    This is such an interesting topic. When I first heard about this in class, I went home and read several articles about it because I was so amazed. I have to admit, at first, I wondered about whether or not it was ethical and necessary, but one of the articles I read said that inscribed on the mummy’s coffin was “Nesyamun, true of voice”. This makes me think that this is what the Egyptian Priest would have wanted, to be heard even after his death. How amazing!

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  24. Stephanie Cruz

    The idea of finding out how a person singed like from a long time ago is “cool” but how you are going to achieve not so much. With the researchers knowing that it’s quite impossible for them to retract the mummy’s singing voice but still go with the idea is very questionable. Even though learning more about how the ancient world worked and sounded seems like a good idea, I believe that somethings are meant not to be discovered.

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  25. Adara MacDonnell

    Never in a million years would I think that scientists could recreate someone’s voice from thousands of years ago. It almost brings life back to that mummy. Obviously, none of us knew that person when they were alive, and so we really don’t equate that mummy to be a person. We know that it once was alive, but to us, it’s just an object in a way. To hear the sound of what that person probably sounded like makes them seem more human to us.

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  26. Jefferson Reyes

    It is insane to even think about what these scientists did. Recreating a sound from a mummy is extraordinary, and it will bring so much understanding to their culture, religion, and language. The voice, of course, would not be 100% accurate, but the fact that they can still get a sound from a dead mummy is amazing. The only thing that bothered me about this article was the unethical things that they do to these mummies. The death of these people were sacred, so I believe it goes against ethics.

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  27. Jefferson Reyes

    It is insane to even think about what these scientists did. Recreating a sound from a mummy is extraordinary, and it will bring so much understanding to their culture, religion, and language. The voice, of course, would not be 100% accurate, but the fact that they can still get a sound from a dead mummy is amazing. The only thing that bothered me about this article was the unethical things that they do to these mummies. The death of these people were sacred, so I believe it goes against ethics.

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