3D-printed copy of the vocal tract made it possible to recreate the voice of the mummy of ancient Egyptian priest

British scientists have recreated the voice of the ancient Egyptian priest who lived over three thousand years ago. Using the CT scan they recreated a model of the vocal tract, and then printed it on a 3D printer and connected to the speaker for sound reproduction, allowing you to record voice samples. Article published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The voice of a man depends largely on his current emotional state, but its General characteristics are primarily determined by parameters of the body, including the larynx, vocal folds, oral cavity and others. Thus, knowing the structure of the vocal tract, it is possible to recover the voice of a man. It has great value for science, because the oldest recording of the human voice was made about a century ago (more info about the first devices and research on sound recording, can be read in our blog), and all earlier data on the votes of the people available only in the form of the description, which is usually uninformative and subjective.

Previously, scientists have used the method in which they are based on data from computed tomography recreated model of the vocal tract of the mummy of a man who lived in the European Alps about 5300 years ago, and then on its basis created a sample of his intended vote. However, this method is based on computer modeling of the synthesis process of the voice and may not be as accurate as the reconstruction of the physical copies of the vocal tract.

A group of researchers under the direction of David Howard (David Howard) from the University of London and John Schofield (Chris Schofield) from the University of York have recreated using a 3D printed copy of the voice of the ancient Egyptian priest Nesyamun who died during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses XI, around 1100 BC.

To create the model, the researchers used computed tomography, and created scans of the head and neck. They see the weaknesses of the mummy, which reduce the accuracy of recreating the voices: she’s missing most of the muscle volume of the tongue and soft palate. However, a large part of the vocal tract is in a satisfactory condition. Obtained computer model has dimensions of 8.1 cm from the upper lip to the border of the soft and hard palate, and 6.8 cm from the border to thyroid cartilage.

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