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A mummy “speaks again” 3,000 years after her death

The mummy of Nesyamun, belongs to a priest who lived during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses XI about 3,000 years ago, and was found in the Karnak temple, near Luxor.

Nesyamun dedicated his life to reciting prayers and singing to the god Amun. Today, three millennia after his death, Nesyamun has spoken again.

A team of scientists at Leeds Hospital, has put the monkey in an X-ray scanner, studied his vocal tract and rebuilt it with a 3D printer.

The result is a brief sound, similar to the vowel e, which according to the researchers would be the voice of Nesyamun that rumbled in the Karnak temple.

“We are seeing if we could create some words or a song of Nesyamun by means of a computer simulation,” anticipates electronic engineer David Howard, project leader with archaeologist John Schofield.

Howard is the inventor of an amazing “vocal tract organ,” a musical instrument that plays vocals through a keyboard connected to electronic laryngs and 3D-printed tracts from real-person scanners.

In 2016, in a Victorian hall of his university, the engineer used his peculiar organ to perform alongside a soprano the O mio babbino caro, an aria from an opera by Puccini.

Scientists have only obtained a vowel from Nesyamun because they have limited themselves to trying to recreate the sound that the tract would emit in the configuration in which it was mummified.

“His tongue shrank, probably from dehydration. If we were to reproduce his speech we would have to create a language with a form that seems reasonable to his mouth,” underlines Howard, from the University of London.

The 3D printing of the vocal tract of Nesyamun is based on a technique proposed by the Belgian engineer and bass-baritone Bertrand Delvaux.

In his opinion, the investigation with the mummy of Nesyamun “opens a new world of possibilities: the recreation of voices of the past to study how the characteristics of the voice evolve over time.”

For Delvaux, the disintegration of some mummy tissues, such as their soft palate, does not prevent obtaining an outline of their original voices.

Howard’s team underscores the potential of his research to “thrill and inspire” the public, helping to spread the history of mankind.

The authors also point to another possible application for the future: to help recover the voice of people who have run out of larynx after a tumor.

And Howard recognizes a third possibility: to use the vocal tract of the Egyptian priest Nesyamun for his musical concerts.

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Ancient

The legendary giants of Peru, whose skeletons were seen by conquistadors

There is one special area on our planet where there are especially many stories and legends about people of very large stature. Moreover, these stories are not thousands of years old, but only a few hundred.

Stories about the Peruvian giants have been known since the 16th century, when the first Spanish conquistadors reached this region.

One of the earliest reports of the Peruvian giants is the story of conquistador Pedro Ciez de Leon, described in the folio Royal Inca Commentaries, Volume 1. This man apparently did not see the giants with his own eyes, but talked with those who saw them.

In his report, he described that once people of great growth sailed on their large rafts from reeds to the shore where the village of local Indians stood. The village was located on the peninsula of Santa Elena, which is now the territory of Ecuador.

The giants landed from the rafts on the peninsula and set up their camp near the conquistadors. They apparently decided to settle here for a long time, because immediately they began to dig deep wells in order to extract water from them.

“Some of them were so tall that a man of ordinary size would barely reach their knees. Their limbs were proportional to the body, but their huge heads with hair to their shoulders were monstrous. Their eyes were huge like plates and their faces had no beards.

Some of them were dressed in animal skins, but some were in their natural state (without clothes). Not a single woman was visible among them. When they set up the camp, they began to dig deep wells for water. They dug them in stony soil and then built strong stone wells. The water in them was excellent, always cool and tasted good. “

As soon as the giants set up their camp, they immediately made a bloodthirsty raid on the village of local Indians. According to the description of de Leon, they robbed everything they could grab and ate everything they could eat, including people!

It was a terrible sight when these huge people hung over the trees and the Indians fleeing from them, who practically could not defend themselves from them. Then, on the site of the devastated village, the giants built their large huts and stayed here to fish and hunt in the local forests.

This story ended with a completely surreal story, when a “shining angel” appeared in the sky and drove all these giants away.

Despite this, de Leon himself believed that this story was completely true and described that he personally saw the huge stone wells constructed by the giants. He also writes that other conquistadors saw the wells and the remains of huge houses that could not be built by local Indians.

Further, de Leon writes about even more curious things. He writes that the conquistadors found in this area human bones of very large sizes, as well as pieces of teeth that were large and heavy.

“In 1550, in the city of Lima, I heard that when His Excellency Don Antonio de Mendoza, the viceroy and governor of New Spain was here, some bones were found of people who were huge and could belong to giants.

I also heard that whole deposits of giants’ bones were found in an ancient tomb in the city of Mexico City or nearby. Since many locals claim to have seen them firsthand, we can assume that these giants really exist and can belong to a single race. “

Another proof of the existence of the Peruvian giants can be found in the records of Captain Juan Olmos, who in 1543 dug up ancient burials in the Trujillo Valley and allegedly discovered bones of people of very large stature there.

Later, another giant skeleton was found in the province of Tucuman by conquistador Augustine de Zarate and his people. In general, similar stories came from the Spaniards who visited Peru throughout the 16th century and continued to appear in the 17th century.

In 1620, the Jesuit priest and missionary Pablo Jose Arriaga in his manuscript “On the Eradication of Idolatry in Peru” wrote the following:

“They (representatives of the Spanish inspectors) led us to the other side of the village, where there was a very large cave and the remains of Giants lay in it. Among them were three giant bodies with deformed heads (elongated skulls) wrapped in combi (ceremonial fabric). These giants were considered the ancestors of all these people in the village who worshiped and worshiped them, even sacrifices were made in their honor. Then they (Spaniards) burned all these bodies.”

In the 18th and 19th centuries, stories about Peruvian giants also appeared, but they were becoming smaller and they were already perceived as myths and legends, and not something real.

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Ancient

Archaeologists have found a network of hidden tunnels that run across Europe

A large-scale system of ancient tunnels, which archaeologists have been able to discover, covers almost the whole of Europe and stretches from Scotland to the Mediterranean

Archaeologists have discovered a developed network of ancient hidden tunnels, many of which extend throughout Europe. Individual passages that go deep into the bowels of the earth turned out to be so long that they stretch for kilometers.

It is reported that the age of some of the tunnels found by scientists reaches five thousand years. Initially, researchers believed that such passages were used for siege or as secret manholes from the enemy. But later tunnels were discovered, the length of which is comparable to a full-fledged pedestrian subway. They turned out to be so wide that a horse with a cart could fit in them freely.

It is noteworthy that only those of the tunnels that were found first turned out to be ancient. Moreover, many of them were created before the founding of the Roman Empire. Who and why created these passages is not clear. Most likely, it will be possible to solve this mystery only if material is found in the moves that will determine the DNA of the builders. Scientists hope that these remains are most likely awaiting discovery somewhere under a layer of stone.

Scientists add that the discovered tunnels are not mentioned in historical chronicles, which is very strange, since their scale is truly huge. The study of ancient underground passages continues.

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Ancient

An ancient image of seven planetary deities found in Sudan

Photo: Dr Magdalena Laptas / PCMA

Polish archaeologists working in Sudan discovered the remains of a medieval church with frescoes preserved inside, which depict seven planetary deities.

According to Nauka w Polsce, the remains of the temple were discovered in a place called Banganarti. The frescoes depict apparently archangels. However, the images are made in accordance with ancient pre-Christian traditions, namely in accordance with the symbolism leading its history from Mesopotamia.

“This church has an unusual layout,” says archaeologist Magdalena Laptas. “In the eastern part, it is decorated with frescoes with seven planetary deities. It is unique not only for the Nile Valley, but also for Christian architecture in general.”

The ancient author probably wanted to depict the seven archangels. The biblical plot associated with the archangel Raphael is traced in the image. For example, the Book of Tobit describes how Raphael took the form of an ordinary youth and helped along the righteous Tobiah. Only at the end of the journey did he admit: “I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who offer the prayers of the saints and ascend before the majesty of the Lord.”

However, the ancient master portrayed the Christian archangels in the form of seven planetary deities, who were revered by the Sumerians from ancient Akkad and Babylon. As gods, they worshiped seven planets visible to the naked eye – Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, the Sun and the Moon. The last two celestial bodies, as we understand now, the Sumerians mistakenly attributed to the number of planets.

The seven planetary deities in Mesopotamia were the main gods of the pantheon. Temples were dedicated to them, ceremonies were held in their honor. It was then that the belief arose that the position of the planets in the sky at the time of the birth of the child determines his future fate. Then the common expression appeared: “he was born under a happy star.”

The exact age of the frescoes in the found church has not yet been established. Some evidence suggests that images appeared in the 14th century. According to scientists, the temple could operate throughout the existence of the city of Banganarti. It was an important Christian center on the territory of Nubia from the VI to XIV centuries. The powerful kingdom of Makuria was located there, which for a long time rebuffed the invasion of the Arabs.

The tradition associated with the seven deities has existed for many millennia; it has been transmitted from civilization to civilization. For example, knowledge of seven planets entered Egypt after the conquests of Alexander the Great. Greek astronomers in Alexandria gave the seven planets the names of their gods, and after the conquest of Egypt by Rome, the planets were named after the seven Roman gods.

“Archangels were also considered to be the guardians of people from birth to death, after which they became their guides in the afterlife,” says Dr. Laptas. “Thanks to their wings, they could soar freely in the sky. The similarity of archangels to planetary deities is evident even in their ability to control elements, as described in the “Apocalypse” of St. John. The sound of the trumpet of each of the seven archangels caused cataclysms. “

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