Tag archive

dead

Scientists Are Figuring Out Why Some People Can ‘Hear’ The Voices of The Dead

in Science News by


Scientists have identified the traits that may make a person more likely to claim they hear the voices of the dead.

According to new research, a predisposition to high levels of absorption in tasks, unusual auditory experiences in childhood, and a high susceptibility to auditory hallucinations all occur more strongly in self-described clairaudient mediums than the general population.

 

The finding could help us to better understand the upsetting auditory hallucinations that accompany mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, the researchers say.

The Spiritualist experiences of clairvoyance and clairaudience – the experience of seeing or hearing something in the absence of an external stimulus, and attributed to the spirits of the dead – is of great scientific interest, both for anthropologists studying religious and spiritual experiences, and scientists studying pathological hallucinatory experiences.

In particular, researchers would like to better understand why some people with auditory experiences report a Spiritualist experience, while others find them more distressing, and receive a mental health diagnosis.

“Spiritualists tend to report unusual auditory experiences which are positive, start early in life and which they are often then able to control,” explained psychologist Peter Moseley of Northumbria University in the UK.

“Understanding how these develop is important because it could help us understand more about distressing or non-controllable experiences of hearing voices too.”

He and his colleague psychologist Adam Powell of Durham University in the UK recruited and surveyed 65 clairaudient mediums from the UK’s Spiritualists’ National Union, and 143 members of the general population recruited through social media, to determine what differentiated Spiritualists from the general public, who don’t (usually) report hearing the voices of the dead.

 

Overall, 44.6 percent of the Spiritualists reported hearing voices daily, and 79 percent said the experiences were part of their daily lives. And while most reported hearing the voices inside their head, 31.7 percent reported that the voices were external, too.

The results of the survey were striking.

Compared to the general population, the Spiritualists reported much higher belief in the paranormal, and were less likely to care what other people thought of them.

The Spiritualists on the whole had their first auditory experience young, at an average age of 21.7 years, and reported a high level of absorption. That’s a term that describes total immersion in mental tasks and activities or altered states, and how effective the individual is at tuning out the world around them.

In addition, they reported that they were more prone to hallucination-like experiences. The researchers noted that they hadn’t usually heard of Spiritualism prior to their experiences; rather, they had come across it while looking for answers.

In the general population, high levels of absorption were also strongly correlated with belief in the paranormal – but little or no susceptibility to auditory hallucinations. And in both groups, there were no differences in the levels of belief in the paranormal and susceptibility to visual hallucinations.

 

These results, the researchers say, suggest that experiencing the ‘voices of the dead’ is therefore unlikely to be a result of peer pressure, a positive social context, or suggestibility due to belief in the paranormal. Instead, these individuals adopt Spiritualism because it aligns with their experience and is personally meaningful to them.

“Our findings say a lot about ‘learning and yearning’. For our participants, the tenets of Spiritualism seem to make sense of both extraordinary childhood experiences as well as the frequent auditory phenomena they experience as practising mediums,” Powell said.

“But all of those experiences may result more from having certain tendencies or early abilities than from simply believing in the possibility of contacting the dead if one tries hard enough.”

Future research, they concluded, should explore a variety of cultural context to better understand the relationship between absorption, belief, and the strange, spiritual experience of ghosts whispering in one’s ear.

The research has been published in Mental Health, Religion and Culture.

 



Source link

Mysterious Cause of Hundreds of Elephant Deaths in Botswana Finally Comes Into Focus

in Science News by


Hundreds of elephants that died mysteriously in Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta probably succumbed to natural toxins, the wildlife department said Friday.

​The landlocked southern African country has the world’s largest elephant population, estimated to be around 130,000. Around 300 of them have been found dying since March.

 

​Authorities have so far ruled out anthrax, as well as poaching, as the tusks were found intact.

​Preliminary tests conducted in various countries far have not been fully conclusive and more are being carried out, Wildlife and Parks Department boss Cyril Taolo told AFP in a phone interview.

​”But based on some of the preliminary results that we have received, we are looking at naturally-occurring toxins as the potential cause,” he said.

​”To date we have not established the conclusion as to what is the cause of the mortality”.

​He explained that some bacteria can naturally produce poison, particularly in stagnant water.

​Government has so far established that 281 elephants died, although independent conservationists say more than 350.

​The deaths were first flagged by a wildlife conservation charity, Elephants Without Borders (EWB), whose confidential report referring to the 356 dead elephants was leaked to the media early in July.

​EWB suspected elephants had been dying in the area for about three months, and mortality was not restricted to age or gender.

​Several live elephants appeared weak, lethargic and emaciated, with some showing signs of disorientation, difficulty in walking or limping, EWB said.

​Tests are being conducted at specialist labs in South Africa, Canada, Zimbabwe and the US.

© Agence France-Presse

 



Source link

Hundreds of Elephants Have Died in Botswana, And We Don’t Know Why

in Science News by


Disturbing reports of a mass elephant die-off have emerged from Botswana over the last two months, with more than 350 elephant carcasses spotted since May.

Some of the elephants were found face down, suggesting a sudden collapse. Most of their bodies were located around water sources in the northern parts of the Okavango Delta, a protected area for elephants and a study site called NG11. No similar deaths have been reported in nearby Namibia.

 

Botswana has the world’s largest elephant (Loxodonta africana) population, with more than 135,000 individuals. But worldwide these majestic animals are in decline

While poachers are known to use cyanide to poison elephants in Zimbabwe, this has been deemed unlikely in this particular case, because the elephants remained intact with their full tusks, and scavengers like hyenas, lions and vultures have not been found dead after eating the carcasses.

Last year over 100 Botswanan elephants died from a suspected anthrax outbreak, and some may have succumbed to drought conditions. But the government of Botswana believes it’s not anthrax in this case.

The Guardian’s Phoebe Weston reported local witnesses saw some elephants walking around in circles. This behaviour suggests whatever is happening is impacting these animals neurologically.

“We have sent [samples] off for testing and we are expecting the results over the next couple of weeks or so,” Cyril Taolo, the acting director of Botswana’s department of wildlife and national parks, told Weston, attributing the delay in getting lab tests to COVID-19 restrictions.

 

Ecologist and LionAid director Pieter Kat and other conservationists have expressed concerns about how long these results are taking.

“Months after the initial carcasses were discovered, there is still no answer as to why that many elephants are dead,” Kat wrote in a blog post, criticising Botswana’s government for being slow to protect the animals that are vitally important to the country’s tourism – its second largest industry.

The sudden nature of at least some of the elephants’ deaths has him concerned poison may be involved, despite the lack of casualties in other species.

Until recently Botswana had been one of the safest countries for these vulnerable animals, but in 2019 scientists reported a surge in elephant poaching. Last year Botswana’s government lifted a ban on the poaching, citing increasing human-elephant conflict as the reason.

“This is totally unprecedented in terms of numbers of elephants dying in a single event unrelated to drought,” conservation biologist Niall McCann, director of National Park Rescue, told the BBC, explaining disease has yet to be ruled out as a cause.

“Yes, it is a conservation disaster – but it also has the potential to be a public health crisis.”

We need answers not just for the sake of the other elephants, but to ensure we’re protected, too.

 





Source link

For The First Time, Scientists Have Captured Video of Brains Clearing Out Dead Neurons

in Science News by


We already know that our brains have a waste disposal system that keeps dead and toxic neurons from clogging up our biological pathways. Now, scientists have managed to capture a video of the process for the first time, in laboratory tests on mice.

 

There’s still a lot we don’t know about how dead neurons are cleared out, and how the brain reacts to them, so the new research could be a significant step forward in figuring some of that out – even if we’ve not yet confirmed that human brains work in the exact same way.

“This is the first time the process has ever been seen in a live mammalian brain,” says neurologist Jaime Grutzendler from the Yale School of Medicine in Connecticut.

Further down the line, these findings might even inform treatments for age-related brain decline and neurological disorders – once we know more about how brain clean-up is supposed to work, scientists can better diagnose what happens when something goes wrong.

The team focussed in on the glial cells responsible for doing the clean-up work in the brain; they used a technique called 2Phatal to target a single brain cell for apoptosis (cell death) in a mouse and then followed the route of glial cells using fluorescent markers.

“Rather than hitting the brain with a hammer and causing thousands of deaths, inducing a single cell to die allows us to study what is happening right after the cells start to die and watch the many other cells involved,” says Grutzendler.

 

“This was not possible before. We are able to show with great clarity what exactly is going on and understand the process.”

Three types of glial cells – microglia, astrocytes, and NG2 cells – were shown to be involved in a highly coordinated cell removal process, which removed both the dead neuron and any connecting pathways to the rest of the brain. The researchers observed one microglia engulf the neuron body and its main branches (dendrites), while astrocytes targeted smaller connecting dendrites for removal. They suspect NG2 may help prevent the dead cell debris from spreading.

The researchers also demonstrated that if one type of glial cell missed the dead neuron for whatever reason, other types of cells would take over their role in the waste removal process – suggesting some sort of communication is occurring between the glial cells.

Another interesting finding from the research was that older mouse brains were less efficient at clearing out dead neural cells, even though the garbage removal cells seemed to be just as aware that a dying cell was there.

This is a good opportunity for future research, and could give experts insight into how older brains start to fail in various ways, as the garbage disposal service starts to slow down or even breaks.

New treatments might one day be developed that can take over this clearing process on the brain’s behalf – not just in elderly people, but also those who have suffered trauma to the head, for example.

“Cell death is very common in diseases of the brain,” says neurologist Eyiyemisi Damisah, from the Yale School of Medicine.

“Understanding the process might yield insights on how to address cell death in an injured brain from head trauma to stroke and other conditions.”

The research has been published in Science Advances.

 



Source link

DNA Analysis Reveals Some of The Mysterious Dead Sea Scrolls Were Made Elsewhere

in Science News by


DNA research on the Dead Sea Scrolls has revealed that not all of the ancient manuscripts came from the desert landscape where they were discovered, according to a study published Tuesday.

 

Numbering around 900, the manuscripts were found between 1947 – first by Bedouin shepherds – and 1956 in the Qumran caves above the Dead Sea that are today located in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The parchment and papyrus scrolls contain Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic and include some of the earliest-known texts from the Bible, including the oldest surviving copy of the Ten Commandments.

Research on the texts has been ongoing for decades and in the latest study, DNA tests on manuscript fragments indicate that some were not originally from the area around the caves.

“We have discovered through analysing parchment fragments that some texts were written on the skin of cows and sheep, whereas before we thought they had all been written on goat skin,” said researcher Pnina Shor, who heads the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) project studying the manuscripts.

“This proves that the manuscripts do not come from the desert where they were found,” she told AFP.

The researchers from the IAA and Tel Aviv University were unable to pinpoint where the fragments came from during their seven-year study, which focused on 13 texts.

The Dead Sea Scrolls date from the third century BCE to the first century CE.

 

‘Parts of a puzzle’

Many experts believe the manuscripts were written by the Essenes, a dissident Jewish sect that had retreated into the Judaean desert around Qumran and its caves. Others argue that some of the texts were hidden by Jews fleeing the advance of the Romans.

“These initial results will have repercussions on the study of the life of Jews during the period of the Second Temple” in Jerusalem that was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, said Shor.

Such archaeological research remains a sensitive subject in Israel and the Palestinian territories, as findings are sometimes used by organisations or political parties to justify their claims to contested land.

Beatriz Riestra, a researcher who took part in the study, pointed to “differences at the same time in the content and the style of calligraphy, but also in the animal skin used for the parchment, proving they are of different origin”.

In total, some 25,000 parchment fragments have been discovered and the texts have been continuously studied for more than 60 years.

“It’s like piecing together parts of a puzzle,” said Oded Rechavi, a professor who led the Tel Aviv University team.

“There are many scrolls fragments that we don’t know how to connect, and if we connect wrong pieces together it can change dramatically the interpretation of any scroll,” he said.

© Agence France-Presse

 



Source link

Dead Sea Scroll Fragments Thought to Be Blank Turn Out to Have Hidden Text Inscribed

in Science News by


Fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls long believed to be entirely blank have now been shown to contain hidden text that hasn’t been read for several decades, if not much, much longer.

 

The Dead Sea Scrolls, a set of ancient religious manuscripts dating back to the third century BCE, were discovered in caves in the West Bank in the 1940s. While hundreds of fragments of these mysterious old texts have been uncovered, there’s still much we don’t know about their shrouded origins.

A tiny piece of the puzzle just became clearer, though, thanks to a chance discovery in the UK. Scientists have realised that a set of blank fragments housed for over 20 years at the University of Manchester are not unmarked after all – and actually contain ancient inscriptions hidden to the eye, but viewable with the aid of multispectral imaging.

010 scroll fragment 2The scroll fragment under multispectral imaging. (University of Manchester)

The fragments in question were given to leather and parchment expert Ronald Reed at the University of Leeds in the 1950s, donated by the Jordanian government. The collection – which were all thought to be blank – were given for the purpose of scientific testing of the material by Reed, and since there didn’t seem to be any text on the scroll pieces, they were deemed of little value to scholars.

Decades later in 1997, Reed’s collection was passed along to the University of Manchester. It was only much more recently that historian and archaeologist Joan Taylor from King’s College London realised, upon inspecting the fragments, that there might be more to them than their empty-looking parchment suggested.

 

“Looking at one of the fragments with a magnifying glass, I thought I saw a small, faded letter – a lamed, the Hebrew letter ‘L’,” says Taylor.

“Frankly, since all these fragments were supposed to be blank and had even been cut into for leather studies, I also thought I might be imagining things. But then it seemed maybe other fragments could have very faded letters too.”

To find out the truth, Taylor and her team imaged 51 fragments in the Reed collection, identifying six that warranted further inspection. Of these, four were later found to contain readable Hebrew/Aramaic text written in carbon-based ink, in addition to other marks such as fragmentary characters and ruled lines.

010 scroll fragment 2Joan Taylor examining the Dead Sea Scrolls. (University of Manchester)

While the research is ongoing – with the full findings due to be published in an upcoming report – the researchers have revealed that the most substantial fragment shows four lines of partially preserved text, each featuring 15–16 letters.

In this section, the word Shabbat (Sabbath) can be read, and the researchers think the text could be related to the biblical book of Ezekiel (46:1–3).

 

“With new techniques for revealing ancient texts now available, I felt we had to know if these letters could be exposed,” Taylor says.

“There are only a few on each fragment, but they are like missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle you find under a sofa.”

The discovery of a scattered handful of ancient characters on a piece of parchment might seem minor, but in the context of the Dead Sea Scrolls, no discovery is considered trivial. Such is the fervour of scholarly interest in these old texts, that individual fragments can be worth millions – creating a minefield of sorts in the field of biblical archaeology, with there now being a known problem of Dead Sea Scrolls forgeries.

That’s not the case here, though, with the Reed collection sourced through the official excavations in the Qumran caves that originally unearthed the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The findings also means that the fragments studied here are the only authenticated textual fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls held by any institution in the UK.

More information about the ongoing research project can be found here.

 



Source link

Positive Tests For Recovered Virus Patients Are Not Reinfections, WHO Says

in Science News by


Coronavirus patients declared recovered who later test positive for the disease are still expelling dead lung cells rather than getting a new infection, the World Health Organisation (WHO) told AFP on Wednesday.

 

South Korean health officials reported more than 100 such cases in April, raising concerns that patients who had recovered could become reinfected.

“We are aware that some patients test positive after they clinically recover,” a WHO spokesperson told AFP, without making specific reference to the South Korean cases.

“From what we currently know – and this is based on very recent data – it seems they these patients are expelling left over materials from their lungs, as part of the recovery phase.”

People infected with the new coronavirus build up antibodies starting a week or so after infection or the onset of symptoms, research has shown.

But it is still not clear, experts say, whether the body systematically builds up enough immunity to ward off a new attack by the virus or, if it does, how long such immunity lasts.

As for the recovered patients who tested negative and then, weeks later, positive, more research is needed, according to the WHO.

“We need systematic collection of samples from recovered patients to better understand how long they shed live virus,” the spokesperson said.

 

“We also need to understand if this means they can pass the virus to other people – having live virus does not necessarily mean it can be passed to another person.”

In a recent interview with BBC, infectious disease epidemiologist Maria Van Kerhove, part of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, explained the “dead cell” scenario.

“As the lungs heal, there are parts of the lung that are dead cells that are coming up. These are fragments of the lungs that are actually testing positive,” she said.

“It is not infectious virus, it’s not reactivation. It is actually part of the healing process.”

“Does that mean they have immunity? Does that mean they have a strong protection against reinfection? We don’t know the answer to that yet.”

For some viruses, such as the measles, those who contract it are immune for life.

For other coronaviruses such as SARS, immunity lasted from a few months to a couple of years.

The pandemic has now killed more than 257,000 people globally and officially infected nearly 3.7 million, although with only the most serious cases being tested the number is believed to be far higher.

© Agence France-Presse

 



Source link

Entire Collection of Dead Sea Scroll Fragments at US Museum Turns Out to Be Fake

in Science News by


A thorough investigation of one of the world’s most valuable collections of Dead Sea Scroll fragments has revealed a shocking truth: not one of the collection’s 16 fragments analysed is authentic.

 

The Dead Sea Scrolls, a trove of religious manuscripts containing the oldest known foundations of the Old Testament, date as far back as the third century BCE. The vast majority of these ancient, weathered texts are displayed in Jerusalem, but many more fragments circulate on the private market, where they are coveted by cashed-up collectors and museums.

Unfortunately, many researchers in the field of biblical archaeology suspect that some of these supposed relics – especially a mysterious body of fragments that only turned up late in the day, in 2002 – are cunningly crafted forgeries that can fool even experts.

That bleak view was seemingly confirmed in late 2018, when the US$500 million Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC revealed that at least five of the Dead Sea Scroll fragments in its collection on display were actually fakes.

Since then, the museum has engaged further scientific help to ascertain whether the rest of its scroll fragments (rumoured to have cost millions to acquire) are the real deal. It turns out, rather embarrassingly, they are not.

“After an exhaustive review of all the imaging and scientific analysis results, it is evident that none of the textual fragments in Museum of the Bible’s Dead Sea Scroll collection are authentic,” says art fraud investigator Colette Loll, the founder and director of Art Fraud Insights.

 

“Moreover, each exhibits characteristics that suggest they are deliberate forgeries created in the 20th century with the intent to mimic authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments.”

Releasing the results of the analysis in a hefty 212-page report, Loll explains how the 16 fragments in the museum’s collections were subjected to a battery of scientific tests, including multispectral and reflectance transformation imaging, traditional and 3D microscopy, microchemical testing, and more.

The upshot is that the fragments analysed showed signs of modern writing inscribed upon archaeological deposits of leather, coated with a protein-based type of animal skin glue, which acted to reinforce the material, while also replicating the surface sheen of authentic Dead Sea Scroll originals, which are written on parchment.

“In all of the fragments that contained writing, we observed examples where modern ink was applied atop preexisting surface deposits and across cracks and areas of delamination already present on the repurposed material,” the report explains.

“In some cases, a variety of loose mineral deposits were also scattered over the forgeries after writing, and while the ink was still wet, in order to give the impression that these were authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments that had come from the Qumran caves. It is our opinion that all of these methods were utilised with an express intent to deceive.”

While being duped so publicly is no doubt a galling experience for the Museum of the Bible and its backers – David Green and his family’s commercial empire – the organisation is trying to put a brave face in light of the revelations, insisting that their complete transparency over these forgeries will benefit the field of biblical archaeology, by highlighting the crafty techniques used in the creation of fakes.

“Notwithstanding the less than favourable results, we have done what no other institution with post–2002 DSS fragments has done,” the museum’s chief curator, Jeffrey Kloha, explains.

“The sophisticated and costly methods employed to discover the truth about our collection could be used to shed light on other suspicious fragments and perhaps even be effective in uncovering who is responsible for these forgeries.”

The full report on the investigation is available on the Museum of the Bible’s website.

 



Source link

Half a Million Mussels Appear to Have Cooked Alive on a New Zealand Beach

in Science News by


Hundreds of thousands of mussels cooked to death in New Zealand due to rising temperatures in New Zealand’s oceans.

New Zealand resident Brandon Ferguson posted a video on Facebook from Maunganui Bluff Beach, located on the country’s North Island, showing hundreds-of-thousands of dead mussels that had washed up on the shore.

 

Ferguson told Business Insider that he happened upon the sight while out with friends and family last week.

“I’m local to the area so I’m always out on ‘the coast’ gathering food for the family,” he said. “That day I was out with friends and family while they were fishing. We waited for the tide to turn so we could gather mussels.”

But instead, Ferguson saw hundreds of thousands of green-lipped mussels that had turned up dead.

“It smelled like dead rotting seafood,” Ferguson said. “Some of the mussels were empty, some of them were dead … Some were just floating around in the tide.”

“There were well over 500,000 mussels and shells littering the coastline.”

[Warning: explicit language in the video below.]

Ferguson said that he had witnessed this type of event on the same beach in the past, with different types of shellfish washing up dead along the shores. He blamed rising temperatures and warming sea waters for the phenomena.

“It has happened in the past due to warm water temperatures, low mid-day tides, and high pressures,” he said.

 

A 2019 report from the New Zealand government supports Ferguson’s theory – climate change has been warming sea temperatures, devastating the country’s native marine plants, animals and habitats.

According to the report, between 1981 and 2018, overall sea-surface temperatures across New Zealand’s four oceanic regions, including Chatham Rise, the Tasman Sea, subtropical, and subantarctic increased between 0.1 and 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade.

“New Zealand’s oceans act like a giant sponge against the effects of climate change,” New Zealand’s Secretary for the Environment Vicky Robertson wrote in the report.

“It’s likely our seas take up more carbon dioxide than our forests, but there is only so much they and the life in them can take ­- and the limits aren’t yet known.”

Robertson explained that the warmer the water gets, the less able it is to absorb greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which have been increasingly released into the atmosphere and have a strong impact on climate change.

“The growth of species in the oceans is affected, and coastal communities and habitats are at risk from flooding and sea-level rise,” Robertson said.

 

In December, a 386,000-square-mile chunk of the Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand rose about 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 degrees Celsius) warmer than average, threatening the survival of fish and coral in the region.

Andrew Jeffs, a marine scientist at the University of Auckland, told the New Zealand Herald that the mussels in Ferguson’s video likely died from “heat stress” brought on by hot weather and mid-day low tides.

“The mussels die of heat stress. You imagine lying in the midday sun every day for four hours for the best part of a week. You’d be pretty sunburnt at the end of that,” he told The Herald.

Jeffs added the stark prediction that soon the mollusks may disappear entirely from New Zealand as temperatures continue to rise.

“In many other countries, we are seeing poleward movement of the distribution of the species as they adjust to temperature increases associated with climate change,” he told The Herald.

“I expect we may see the same in New Zealand.”

Ferguson said he shared his video in the hopes that the global community would take notice of the effects of climate change happening right outside his doorstep.

 

“It’s getting worse and worse every year,” he told Business Insider. “At times like this we should wake up and start respecting these places and pay attention to what is happening before we lose our taonga [a Māori word meaning ‘treasure’] for good.”

He says he is “heartbroken” to see the native sea life in his hometown disappear, and says he fears for the extinction of the species in the country.

“I fear that our next generation is going to miss out,” he said.

“That’s what hurts me the most.”

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

More from Business Insider:

 



Source link

Scientists Recreate The Voice of a 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian Priest’s Mummy

in Science News by


If the dead could talk, they’d probably have a lot to say. Still, it’s pretty darn tough when you can only make one sound and you’ve lost your tongue.

Under these unforgiving conditions, the 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy Nesyamun should be forgiven for merely grumbling out an “eeeeyhh”.

 

After several millennia of not making a peep, that was the sound scientists heard when they 3D printed the mummy’s vocal tract – an elongated groan somewhere between the vowels of bed and bad.

“He certainly can’t speak at the moment,” David Howard, a speech scientist at the University of London, admitted to The New York Times.

“But I think it’s perfectly plausible to suggest that one day it will be possible to produce words that are as close as we can make them to what he would have sounded like.”

Howard’s done this sort of thing before, but only on the vocal tracts of living people. In his experience, however, he says this one vowel sound is very realistic. Going from that to speech is obviously a huge step, but the process has at least been kickstarted.

In 2016, using a CT scanner, scientists were able to recreate the voice of Ötzi the Iceman mummy, and his vowel sounds are much more gravelly than Nesyamun’s. 

This time, researchers used a similar method to recreate Nesyamun’s vocal tract, all the way from the mummy’s lips to the larynx. Connecting a loudspeaker to a computer, the team made a sort of artificial larynx, using the computer to generate a sound for the vocal tract.

This single vowel result isn’t enough to synthesise running speech, the authors explain in their paper; to do that, they would need more knowledge of the specific vocal tract articulations, and the phonetics and timing of this ancient priest’s language.

 

Perhaps a tongue could help, too. While the mummy’s vocal tract was in remarkable condition after several millennia, the bulk of this particular muscle was missing.

“Give him a tongue that’s reasonable then we could move the whole of the vocal tract around using knowledge of speech production,” Howard told CNN.

“It’s feasible, although we can’t do it easily at the moment.”

In ancient Egyptian culture, it was believed that ‘to speak the name of the dead is to make them live again’. The outside of the mummy’s coffin reads “Nesyamun, true of voice.” Maybe one day, his smooth voice can read that inscription out loud.

The study was published in Scientific Reports.

 



Source link

1 2 3
Go to Top