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

A mummy "speaks again" 3,000 years after her death 90

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.

A mummy "speaks again" 3,000 years after her death 91

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.

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“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

Archaeologists have discovered “unknown” constellations in an Egyptian temple

Archaeologists have discovered "unknown" constellations in an Egyptian temple 93
Previously unknown ancient Egyptian constellations found © Live Science

A team of scientists from Germany and Egypt, which carried out work in the ancient temple of Esna, found references to previously unknown ancient Egyptian constellations, but so far they cannot link them to existing ones.

In Egypt, archaeologists have discovered images of unknown constellations during the restoration of an ancient temple. This is reported by LiveScience.

Restoration work is being carried out in the 2,000-year-old temple by experts from Germany and Egypt. During the removal of soot and dust from the walls, drawings began to appear, with which the ancient Egyptians decorated the temple.

“The carvings and hieroglyphs look so vivid as if they were drawn yesterday. But we are not repainting anything, we are just removing the soot,” Christian Leitz says, professor of Egyptology at the University of Tübingen.

During the restoration, researchers cleaned up ancient carved scenes depicting constellations, including the Big Dipper and Orion. Scientists have also found previously unknown constellations, including a constellation called “Apedu n Ra” or “Geese of Ra”, which are the ancient Egyptian sun gods.

Archaeologists have discovered "unknown" constellations in an Egyptian temple 94

Mentioning these constellations, without depicting them, does not yet allow us to say which star clusters are in question.

The first modern description of a Greco-Roman temple in the city of Esna dates back to 1589, when it was visited by a Venetian merchant. The city of Esna, about 60 km south of the ancient capital of Luxor, used to have more temples. Two buildings were destroyed during the industrialization of Egypt, and the largest, the Temple of Esna, was used for storing cotton in the first half of the 19th century.

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The sanctuary, which they decided to use as a warehouse, was prized for its location in the city center. Decades of desolation have left the temple dirty, covered in soot and bird droppings.

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To date, only its vestibule remains from the temple. The large sandstone structure is supported by 24 columns, as well as 18 freestanding columns, decorated with paintings and carvings. It stretches 37 meters long, 20 meters wide and 15 meters high. But the remains of the temple are only a small fraction of its former size when it was built under the Roman emperor Claudius (reigned 41-54 AD). Scholars do not know what happened to the rest of the temple when a Venetian merchant visited it in the 16th century, little remained of the structure.

Archaeologists have discovered "unknown" constellations in an Egyptian temple 97

According to Leitz, the construction and decoration of the temple, including the astronomical drawings on the ceiling, could take about 200 years.

He notes that when the ancient Egyptians decorated the temple, they first drew with ink, creating sketches for carvers, and then colored the relief designs.

On the astronomical ceiling of the temple, many drawings have remained in ink, so they were found only during the restoration.

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A portrait of an alien? In Bulgaria, archaeologists have found a clay mask of an unusual shape

A portrait of an alien? In Bulgaria, archaeologists have found a clay mask of an unusual shape 98
Ancient mask resembles an alien (Photo: Bulgarian National Radio)

A prehistoric clay mask or figurine without a mouth dating back to the 5th millennium BC was found in the prehistoric settlement of Salt Pit in northeastern Bulgaria.

A whimsical mask or figurine without a mouth combines human and animal features and resembles an ” alien” from a science fiction movie, archaeologists are sure.

“ Many people compare him to … an alien in a space suit,” the Bulgarian National Radio said in a statement about the discovery.

A late Eneolithic mask was found on the Provadia-Solnitsata mound in northeastern Bulgaria, its shape is close to triangular. The front side protrudes forward and contains an image of a supposedly human face, while the back side is dented and rough in shape.

According to archaeologists, each of the two corners of the upper side of the prehistoric mask or figurine has a short protrusion, “probably stylized ears.” The figurine’s ears have small holes that were used to carry or hang the artifact.

“The artifact was most likely a status symbol hanging on a person’s chest. Interestingly, there is even a hint of mouth on the artifact. But the emphasis is on the eyes – their shape, size, and the vertical polished stripes underneath say much more,” the researchers said.

The head of the archaeological team, Professor Vasil Nikolov, told Bulgarian National Radio that there is no way to know for sure what exactly the 6,000-year-old clay mask or figurine might have been used for by prehistoric people.

Judging by the two holes in the stylized ears of the mouthless mask, it could be hanging on the wall or even being a potter’s vessel lid that could be raised or lowered with a string. According to him, the image on the mask of an ” alien” is a mixture of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic features and “is strongly associated with the masculine principle.”

Two furnaces from the Early Eneolithic ( Copper Age) were excavated at the mound of the Bazovets settlement in North-Eastern Bulgaria.

One of two prehistoric kilns dating back about 7,000 years, was first partially excavated in the 2019 archaeological season. However, during the last excavations of the Bazovets mound, it was completely exposed, and a second kiln from the same structure was discovered.

During the last excavations of the mound of the Bazovetsky settlement, 57 archaeological artifacts were discovered. These include items made of flint, animal bones, horns, and ceramics, including fragments of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines.

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Staffa – “Island of columns”, which according to the legends of the Vikings was built by giants

Staffa - "Island of columns", which according to the legends of the Vikings was built by giants 99

Some places on our planet are so amazing that legends have been made about them for millennia. According to one of the legends, earlier on Earth there was a race of giants, which I love to talk about in my articles. It may be rather strange, but there is plenty of evidence that giants are not just a beautiful fairy tale, but could actually live on Earth.

Interestingly, according to some scientists, gigantism in the past was characteristic not only of living things, but also of plants, insects and people. The reason for this could be a different composition of the planet’s atmosphere, in which a small size meant a small chance of survival.

Staffa - "Island of columns", which according to the legends of the Vikings was built by giants 100

Some of the ancient buildings are so majestic that people definitely could not build them, and there are traces of such ancient buildings in many countries. Huge stone blocks weighing several tons, which people could hardly lift, because they did not possess the technologies of our time. But there are wonders of the world, which are difficult to understand, and one of them is the “Island of Columns”. Either nature skillfully did its job, or the giants of antiquity could build this miracle, but about everything in order.

Fingal’s Cave is located on the Scottish island of Staffa. The height of the ancient temple is about 20 meters, and the width is only about 14. People who have fallen into the cave note that it is like an ancient temple built using amazing technology. This place is often called the melody cave, because you can hear amazing sounds of nature in it, as if the natural philharmonic society invited you to its free concert.

The mystery lies in the basalt columns, which look so amazing that you start to doubt the natural formation of these columns, maybe that’s why legends about giants appeared, that people do not believe that the columns could have appeared naturally? But let’s return to the legend, in which we are told about the amazing giant Fingal, who lay down to rest before his next fight. Up to this point, he has erected a unique king between Ireland and Scotland, in which there were thousands of such columns.

Staffa - "Island of columns", which according to the legends of the Vikings was built by giants 101

The giant’s rival came to a duel to the cave, and the war was met by Fingal’s wife, who pointed to her husband wrapped in blankets and said that this was their baby. The words of the giant’s wife frightened the other giant so much that he imagined his rival, whose height could exceed his height several times. Then he decided to escape from the place of the battle, destroying the dam behind him so that Fingal would not catch up with him.

Fingal’s Cave gained fame after the famous scientist Joseph Banks visited the small island in the 17th century. After his rave reviews, this place was visited by many famous people, and Felix Mendelssohn even dedicated his overture to the unusual musical grotto.

Staffa - "Island of columns", which according to the legends of the Vikings was built by giants 102

There is no direct connection between this piece of land and Scotland. First, tourists take a ferry to the Isle of Mull, and from there they follow boats to Staffa Island.

Here is such a beautiful fairy tale in which the wife of a giant cunningly did not let her husband fight.

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