Ötzi will „speak“ again


Ötzi, or the Iceman, died in the Alps over 5300 years ago. However, we may hear his voice again. Scientists claim that they have found a way to recover the sounds, which the ancient man had used when he was alive. He has turned into one of the most famous mummies in the whole world.

They achieved this result with the help of computed tomography (CT) scans on the mummy’s speech apparatus, said a laryngologist at the San Maurizio Hospital in Bolzano. “Through the development of the CT scan images performed on Ötzi, it has been possible to produce a fairly reliable determination of his ‘sound-board’.”

His team which includes researchers at the University of Padua are now working on developing sound files that could recreate the voice of Ötzi.

The scientists are using physical information about the mummy’s throat and they are comparing it with the data about how can this reflect on the acoustic energy it he could generate. The recreation of the 5300 years silenced voice would happen with the help of voice synthesizers, reports the Daily Mail.

Ötzi is an ice mummy from the Chalcolithic period. He was discovered in 1991 in the Tyrolean Alps at an altitude of 3200 meters. The mummy’s age, determined by a radiocarbon dating, is 5300 years. In Austria, they call it Ötzi, in Italy the mummy is known as Similaun man or Tyrolean iceman. Ötzi is the oldest mummy discovered in Europe.

For 25 years, scientists advanced significantly in the mummy’s examination. They have studied its genomics and ancestry, they restored its appearance and they studied all of the diseases, he suffered from.

Ötzi was approximately 159 cm tall (5 ft 2.5 inches); his weight was about 50 kg (110 lbs); and he died at the age of 46. At the time of the mummy’s discovery, Ötzi weighted 37 kg (83 lbs). The analysis of pollens and tooth enamel has determined that Ötzi spend his early life near the town of Velturno, north of Bolzano. After that, he lived in valleys located 50km north.

After researching the proportions of the shins, tights, and pelvis, scientists have concluded that the Iceman often traveled on mountain areas. Such degree of mobility was not typical for other Europeans from the Copper Age. It is probable that he was a shepherd in the high mountain areas.