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CT Scans, 3D Printing Give Voice to Mummified Priest


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The team used a computed tomography scanner at the Leeds General Infirmary to scan the mummy.

Researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London, and the University of York, used a computed tomography scanner to determine whether the significant part of the structure of a mummys larynx and throat remained intact. When they found it was, they created a copy of the mummy's vocal tract and used it with an artificial larynx to generate a sound.

Credit: Leeds Museums and Galleries

Researchers at the U.K.'s Royal Holloway, University of London and the University of York used computed tomography (CT (scanning and a three-dimensionally (3D) printed larynx to reproduce sound from the vocal tract of Nesyamun, a 3,000-year-old mummified priest.

The Vocal Tract Organ system provides a user-controllable artificial larynx to synthesize a vowel sound that is said to compare favorably with the vowel sounds of modern humans.

The CT scan allowed the researchers to measure the shape of the mummy's vocal tract and to print it in three dimensions. The team used the vocal tract with an artificial larynx to generate a sound.

Said York researcher Joann Fletcher, "Ultimately, this innovative interdisciplinary collaboration has given us the unique opportunity to hear the sound of someone long dead by virtue of their soft tissue preservation combined with new developments in technology."

From The Engineer (U.K.)
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