Scientists Recreated the Voice of a 3,000-Year-Old Mummy, Definitely Didn't Unleash a Curse

3,000 year old mummy voice
Leeds Teaching Hospitals/Leeds Museums and Galleries

This is not the full-throated roar you expect a mummy to make when it's being vexed by Brendan Fraser. Nonetheless, scientists have made the first-ever reconstruction of an ancient human voice. The voice is that of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy named Nesyamun. And yes, this absolutely sounds like the kind of thing that unleashes a hellish curse and a fun adventure for an archeologist adventurer. 

The "vowel-like sound" isn't much. It's a short burst that sounds like someone saying "ah." Nonetheless, it's an incredible innovation that could provide the framework to eventually hear the full voice of an ancient human like Nesyamun, a priest and scribe, whose coffin called him "true of voice." You can hear his voice here.

To get this little slice of sound, scientists put Nesyamun into a CT scanner, as seen in the image above. That process gave them a 3D model of the mummy's vocal tract and mouth, "the dimensions of which shape the unique sound of a person's voice," writes Science. That model was hooked up to an electronic larynx that helped the researchers create a glimpse of this ancient human's voice, they announced Thursday in Scientific Reports.

In life, Nesyamun likely sang and spoke to the godsas part of his work at the Karnak temple in Thebes. Those conclusions were reached based on the writings outside of his coffin, as well as the objects with which he was buried. That evidence does not include any evidence of a grudge against The Rock or Fraser, unfortunately.

h/t Science Magazine

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow him @dlukenelson.