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Otzi Speaks: Scientists Reconstruct Voice of 5,300-Year-Old Iceman

Otzi Speaks: Scientists Reconstruct Voice of 5,300-Year-Old Iceman



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Scientists have made the best approximation of the voice of Otzi the Iceman, the world-famous mummy who met a violent death in the mountains of Austria around 5,300 years ago. His voice was replicated through a reconstruction of his vocal tract, throat and mouth. The experiment, which was conducted to honor the 25 th anniversary of Ötzi’s discovery, brings ‘life’ to the ancient mummy.

The mummy of Ötzi was discovered by German tourists in the Ötztal Alps on the border between Austria and Italy in 1991. He was originally believed to be the frozen corpse of a mountaineer or soldier who died during World War I, but tests later confirmed the Iceman dates back to 3,300 BC and died from a blow to the back of the head. He is Europe's oldest natural human mummy and, remarkably, his body contained the still intact blood cells, which resembled a modern sample of blood. They are the oldest blood cells ever identified. His body was so well-preserved that scientists were even able to determine that his last meal was red deer and herb bread, eaten with wheat bran, roots and fruit.

The mummy of Otzi, as it was found ( vaxzine / flickr )

Due to his incredible state of preservation, Ötzi is among the world's most intensively studied mummies. His genome was decoded from a hip bone sample, enabling scientists to track down modern-day descendants, and his state of health, as well as cause of death were determined through scans and analyses. Now scientists have added to the knowledge of the Stone Age mummy by recreating his voice.

Naturalistic reconstruction of Ötzi - South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

Seeker.com reports that scientists replicated his voice to the best possible approximation primarily through the measurements of the length of his vocal tract and vocal cords. However, they also had to reconstruct the entire structure of the vocal tract, which was the main challenge.

"We had to deal with Ötzi's position, whose arm is covering his throat," Francesco Avanzini, ENT specialist, told Discovery News. "For our project this is the worst position you can imagine. Moreover, the hyoid bone, or tongue-bone, was party absorbed and dislocated."

In order to create a complete model of the vocal tract, including the vocal cords and mouth, the researchers “moved Ötzi's arm, repositioned his skull in the erect position, reconstructed his vertebrae, from the first one (C1) closest to the skull, to the first thoracic vertebra (T1), and reconstructed and repositioned the hyoid bone, which supports the tongue,” reports Seeker.com. The scientists then ‘injected’ synthesized sound into the reconstructed vocal tract.

The research team has acknowledged that it is impossible to recreate the precise sound of his voice without data related to the tension and density of the vocal cords of the composition of the soft tissues of the throat.

One of the challenges was reconstructing the vocal tract considering his throat was blocked by his arm

It is not known what language Otzi spoke 5,000 years ago, but the timbre of his vowel sounds were replicated and scientists also hope to create a simulation of consonants. The results of the study add to the wealth of information about Otzi, the ancient Stone Age man.


    Weapons reveal how Ötzi, the 5300-year-old ice mummy lived

    Ötzi – a mummified corpse – was discovered in 1991 as the ice receded in the Ötztal Alps, hence his nickname.

    The body was originally believed to be that of a mountaineer who had recently died, or even that of an Italian soldier from the First World War.

    However, when archeologist Konrad Spindler, at the University of Innsbruck, examined it and a number of objects found with the body, he found it to be “about four thousand years old,” based on one of the axes that was found among Ötzi’s belongings.

    Naturalistic reconstruction of Ötzi – South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology (2011). Photo by Thilo Parg CC BY SA 3.0

    Almost immediately the body drew much attention. For starters, it was incredibly well preserved.

    The ice pocket into which Ötzi had fallen was so protective that it kept his brain, internal organs, some hair and one of his eyeballs completely intact.

    The Ötzi memorial near Tisenjoch.

    Since its discovery, Ötzi has been thoroughly measured, analyzed, examined, x-rayed, and dated. When he was briefly “thawed out” in 2010, scientists were even able to retrieve some red blood cells – the oldest ever identified.

    Remarkably, during all this intensive investigation of whom he was, scientists realized, thanks to a rare mutation known as G-L91, that Ötzi has living relatives in Austria’s Tyrol region. Cousins, only 10,000 to 12,000 years apart.

    Iceman’s copper axe from Südtiroler Archäologiemuseum. Photo by АлександрЛаптев CC BY SA 4.0

    It was also discovered that this 46-year-old man had a number of health issues, including gallstones, worn joints, a growth on his foot, as well as worms and possibly Lyme disease. However, this was not what killed him. He was murdered.

    Ötzi was found with a wound in his shoulder, as well as a head contusion. He had deep cuts on his hands, and the arrow flinthead had lodged in his shoulder (it was found in 2001), severing a major artery and causing him to quickly bleed to death.

    Reconstruction of Ötzi’s knife and scabbard. Photo by Archaoutor CC BY SA 4.0

    Scientists noticed a clotting chemical that shows up in human blood after a wound is inflicted, but disappears quickly as well. However, the fact that it was found in Ötzi implies that he died shortly after receiving the wound.

    Disturbing occasions when ancient Egyptian curses seemed to come true

    In addition to the arrow wound, when he was examined by a CAT scan in 2013, researchers found a contusion at the back of his head, but they weren’t sure if it was caused by a fall after being hit by the arrow, or from another weapon.

    Otzi arrowhead. Photo by Ursula Wierer CC BY 4.0

    The cut on his right hand had not yet healed, indicating that he may have been in a fight a few hours or even days prior to being shot with the arrow.

    Scientists have determined recently that Ötzi was right-handed, and being injured would have made it harder for him to prepare or hold his weapons to defend himself from further attack. This may explain why the bows and arrows that were found with the body were not yet finished.

    A replica of Ötzi’s copper axe. Photo by Bullenwachter CC BY 3.0

    While the arrow would have caused massive bleeding, researchers found that the shaft had been removed before Ötzi died. What is more, the undigested meal of bread, sloes, and deer found in his stomach suggests that Ötzi was ambushed.

    Reconstruction of a neolithic birch bark vessel found with Ötzi. Photo by Xenophon CC BY SA 3.0

    As much as we know about Ötzi, one thing about his death remains a mystery: motive. Ötzi was likely on the run from someone, or several people, but who or why we will never know.

    It wasn’t a robbery – a valuable copper ax was found with the body. DNA analyses performed in the last few years have revealed blood from at least four other people on Ötzi’s equipment, including his knife, two samples on an arrowhead, and his coat.

    Otzi the Iceman. Photo by Thilo Parg CC BY SA 3.0

    Researchers have interpreted that perhaps he carried a wounded comrade over his shoulder, hence the blood on his coat, and he may have killed two people with the same arrow. Was his death revenge for theirs?

    A shoe as worn in prehistoric times, BATA shoe museum – modern reproduction. Photo by Sheila Thomson CC BY 2.0

    In 2011, researchers used 3D images of the preserved remains to recreate an incredibly lifelike reconstruction of Ötzi’s face. Since then, his entire body has been reconstructed.

    He was 5 feet 3 inches tall, and weighed around 110 pounds (50 kilograms). With brown hair, deep-set eyes, and a long nose, he has even been said to resemble Harvy Keitel. Ötzi has been on display since 1998 at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy.

    Patricia Grimshaw is a self-professed museum nerd, with an equal interest in both medieval and military history. She received a BA (Hons) from Queen’s University in Medieval History, and an MA in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, and completed a Master of Museum Studies at the University of Toronto before beginning her museum career. She has lived and traveled all over Canada and Europe.


    How science is giving a voice to mummies such as Ötzi the Iceman

    Researchers recently managed to recreate the voice of 5,300-year-old Ötzi the iceman by recreating his vocal tract. The technology is promising and could be used to digitally produce the voices of other mummified remains. But how does it work and what else could it be used for?

    When you make a vowel sound (aah, ee, oh, ooh and so on), three parts of your anatomy play important roles: your lungs, your larynx and the tube made from your throat and mouth. Your lungs provide the airflow that powers the sound. If the flow becomes too weak it will turn into a whisper instead.

    Your larynx, or voice box, sits about midway between your lungs and your lips, just behind your Adam's apple. The part you can feel from the outside is the cartilage protecting and supporting the vocal folds (or vocal cords) inside. These are a pair of soft, lip-like structures that run from your Adam's apple to the back of your windpipe.

    You can bring these folds firmly together across your windpipe to close it off completely – you do this when you cough or choke. You can also bring them across so they just touch, and if you do that and then breathe out they vibrate in much the same way your lips do if you blow a raspberry. These vibrating vocal folds are the source of sound for a vowel. If you say aah while you press your fingers gently either side of your Adam's apple you can feel the vibrations in your larynx.

    Everyone's voice has a natural pitch based on the size of their larynx and in particular the length and thickness of their vocal folds. Your natural pitch is what comes out when your throat muscles are fairly relaxed and you don't try to speak too loudly. Women have shorter, thinner vocal folds than men and so they have generally a higher natural pitch.

    If your windpipe ended just above the larynx then you would just be able to produce buzzing sounds. The lowest frequency in the buzzing sound is part of your natural pitch, but there is also energy at many higher frequencies included in that sound. It's the airway that shapes the buzz sound into a particular vowel.

    We can think of this airway as a tube. You can change the length of that tube by protruding your lips, as you do when you say ooh, or by moving your tongue. When you say aah, your tongue rolls back out of your mouth and into your throat so the lower half of the tube is narrow and the upper half is wide, for example.

    Every tube has a series of resonance frequencies that relates to its length and its cross-sectional area. These are the frequencies of sound that pass along the tube most easily and with least energy loss, so if we have a buzz sound generated at the larynx end of the tube, the sound at the lips' end will be the original buzz, but with the resonance frequencies of the tube sounding much louder than any other frequencies in the buzz.

    When you listen to a vowel sound it's these resonance frequencies you are using to decide which vowel you are hearing. Changing the position of your tongue and lips changes the length and cross-section of the tube, which changes the resonances and ultimately the vowel you hear.

    Ötzi and his peers

    Because of how well preserved the mummy was, scientists have managed to reconstruct Otzi's voice. AFP

    To know how Ötzi the Iceman sounded we need to know how long and how thick his vocal folds were – that tells us about the natural pitch of his voice. We also need to know how long his airway was and about the cross-sectional area to work out the resonance frequencies. His tongue and lips will have been preserved in one particular position which will only give us information about a single vowel sound. So if we are to work out how he sounded for other vowels we also need to know a bit about the size of his tongue and where it joined to his windpipe. Knowing this allows us to work out the other possible tube-shapes he could make and calculate their related resonances.

    But how can you actually work all this out? It's pretty simple, all you really need is a CT scan, which uses X-rays to create detailed images of the inside of the body. This allows us to measure all these anatomical dimensions. We can then use that information to make a computer model to synthesise what his voice might have sounded like.

    The first use of X-rays to explore mummified remains is thought to have been by Walter Konig in 1896, very soon after X-rays were first discovered. CT scans have been conducted on mummies for more than 40 years, with the popularity of the technique increasing rapidly over the last decade or so. However, the study of Ötzi the Iceman seems to be the first time the CT data has been used to synthesise a voice.

    In a study of 137 mummies published in the Lancet in 2013, CT scans were used to show that, contrary to much current thinking, disease of the arteries was common in many pre-industrial populations. For speech, the CT scanning technique could similarly provide us with valuable information about the dimensions of the vocal system for any mummified body. And with enough different sets of scans we might be able to track trends in voice over time, such as changes in the typical natural frequency due to nutrition and body size.

    One of the big open questions about speech is exactly when the ability to communicate in this way evolved, and there is quite a controversy about whether Neanderthals, for example, could speak. Sadly the CT scanning techniques can't help us with this as they rely on the preservation of soft tissue. The earliest hominid remains are fossilised which means only the bone structure has survived.

    The absence of lung, larynx, airway or tongue information in these fossils makes our ability to predict their capacity for speech very much less certain. At about 5,300-years-old Ötzi is the earliest European mummy in existence, but deliberately mummified bodies as old as 7,000 years have been found in South America. Spirit Cave Man, found in North America in 1940, has been dated at 9,000-years-old, so if CT scans were made, even older voices than Ötzi's could perhaps be heard one day.

    Anna Barney, Associate Dean Education, Professor of Biomedical Acoustic Engineering, University of Southampton

    This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


    Expert re-creates the shoes of 5,300-year-old Ötzi the Iceman, down to the bearskin soles and hay-stuffed lining

    The 1991 discovery of Ötzi the Iceman in a European glacier, on the Austria-Italy border, motivated curious scientists to analyze his 5,300-year-old mummified remains and recover information about his life in the late Neolithic period. When found in the Ötztal Valley Alps, Ötzi’s frozen body was so well preserved that was almost turned into a natural mummy, creating a real scientific treasure. With a little help from complex DNA techniques, Ötzi became a real Neolithic celebrity as researchers identified specific details from his long passed lifetime.

    Reportedly, the brown-eyed, tattooed, gap-toothed 40-year-old man worked as a shepherd high in the mountains. Ötzi is said to have worn layered clothing and accessories. His goatskin leggings, jacket, loincloth, quiver, tools, and a grass cape were all uniquely preserved, as were his boots.

    Petr Hlavacek, a Czech academic and calceology expert from the Tomas Bata University in Zlin, eastern Czech Republic, has taken his research into prehistoric footwear to another level by re-creating Ötzi ‘s boots. Hlavacek’s expertise in calceology (from “calcei” meaning shoes in Latin) studies the archaeological and historical aspects of footwear.

    Petr Hlavacek Author: Josef Chlachula CC BY-SA 3.0

    Initially, Hlavacek faced torn and partly decomposed leather, mixed with blackened hay and tiny bits of twine, like a clump of horse dung. Along with his university colleagues, Hlavacek spent a great deal of time and effort trying to source the right leather for the authentic reconstruction. Microscopic studies of the leather showed that it came from calf on the bindings, deerskin on the uppers, and bearskin on the soles. The team of experts had to hire a bear hunter in Canada and have him send his prey to the Czech Republic.

    Following the boot’s structure, the researchers re-created a net made of thin bark strips and stuffed it with hay, which formed a lining that kept the foot warm and cozy. A number of replicas were made to determine the aspects of the function of the shoes.

    According to Hlavacek, these boots offered more contact with the ground’s surface than modern shoes and felt like “walking barefoot, but only better.” The shoes unappealing outward form is compensated by the comfort and practicality which provide protection against hard terrain and different weather extremes.

    Replica of about 2000 years old footwear of Terracotta Army warriors in China. Author: Josef Chlachula – CC BY-SA 3.0

    The tanning of the footwear’s leather primarily included vegetable fats but these proved impractical, so Hlavacek decided to use boiled pig liver and a raw pig’s brain. Tanned leather is a sophisticated material that has to be salted, soaked, scraped and than treated with a substance that will toughen and preserve it. This method was traditionally used in certain regions of South America in the Stone Age period and it was practiced through smearing of the tanning mixture onto the skin and being left for three days.

    The structural and technical complexity of Ötzi’s shoes brought Hlavacek and his research team to the conclusion that even 5,300 years ago people turned to cobblers when in need of a new pair of shoes. Hlavacek even decided to personally try out hiking in the replica shoes.

    According to the Backpacker magazine, he took a 12-mile hike through Ötzi’s stomping grounds at 10,000 feet. The result? “The perfect shoes for winter,” concluded Hlavacek. He walked barefoot in the shoes, wearing no socks in a temperature of 21 degrees Fahrenheit, but even in those harsh conditions, the shoes kept him warm, with not a single frozen toe.

    Replica of about 10,000-year-old footwear from Oregon. Author: Josef Chlachula CC BY-SA 3.0

    He pointed out that the grass worked enough well to be an insulator which wicked moisture away from his feet. The soles were not water-resistant but the leather strips that were placed across them provided a solid grip on icy ground.

    The boots’ performance was even tested and later praised by experienced hikers and climbers who tried them out in extreme conditions. Vaclav Patek, a Czech mountaineer who took part in the testing, described them as surprisingly cozy, warm, and comfortable, maybe even better than some modern models of footwear. The compliments bestowed on the successfully rec-reated prehistoric shoes caught the attention of a Czech company that offered to buy the patent rights from Hlavacek. However, Hlavacek himself points out that the worst enemy of his inventive re-creation is its appearance, claiming, “The only problem is that they are not pretty. Our enemy is the style.”


    Hear the Recreated Voice of Ötzi the Iceman

    Since German tourists discovered Ötzi the Iceman’s mummified corpse while hiking in the Alps in South Tyrol, Italy, 25 years ago, he’s become one of the most studied people ever to live on earth. Researchers have sussed out what he ate, examined his DNA, studied his tattoos, his health history, determined that he was likely murdered, reconstructed his face and body and even figured out what type of leather he made his clothes and equipment out of.

    Now scientists have put a voice to the face. A team of researchers in Italy announced at a conference recently that they have succeeded in approximating Ötzi’s voice, or at least the tone of it. According to Rossella Lorenzi at Discovery News, Rolando Füstös, chief of the ENT department at Bolzano General Hospital, the city which is home to Ötzi and the museum dedicated to him, used a CT scan to measure the iceman’s vocal tract and synthesized the sounds it would have made.

    As Michael Day points out at The Independent, Ötzi did not make the project easy. Because the mummy is so fragile, the team was unable to use a more detailed MRI scanner because it was too dangerous to move the body. The second difficulty was Ötzi’s final resting position. The mummy has an arm covering his throat, and his tongue bone was partially absorbed and out of place.

    Lorenzi reports the team used special software that allowed them to reposition the mummy virtually and reconstruct the bone that supports the tongue. The team then used mathematical models and software to recreate the sound produced by Ötzi’s vocal tract.

    The sound produced is not Ötzi’s true voice since the researchers do not know the tension of his vocal cords or the effects the now-missing soft-tissues in his vocal tract would have produced.

    “Obviously we don’t know what language he spoke back then, but we will, I think, be able to reproduce the colour or timbre of his vowel sounds and show how they might be different in the way that Sicilians or people from London, say, pronounce the letter ‘a’ differently,” Dr Füstös told Day when the start of the project was announced.

    The final synthesized vowel sounds produced by the vocal tract are between 100 and 150 Hz, which is typical for a modern male human. The sound of Ötzi’s vowels, released in a video, sound rough and gravelly, like a heavy smoker, though tobacco didn’t make it to Eurasia until some 3,800 years after Ötzi's death.

    About Jason Daley

    Jason Daley is a Madison, Wisconsin-based writer specializing in natural history, science, travel, and the environment. His work has appeared in Discover, Popular Science, Outside, Men’s Journal, and other magazines.


    What Does Your Tattoo Mean, Bro?

    Iceman’s 61 tattoos are organized into 19 different groups. Each group of tattoos is simply a set of horizontal or vertical lines. It is believed that the tattoos served a therapeutic or diagnostic purpose for the Iceman, because the tattoo groupings tend to cluster around the lower back and joints — places where Iceman was suffering from joint and spinal degeneration.

    The tattoos may have demarcated the locations for acupuncture treatments, or perhaps the tattoos were the treatment. However, in the most recent tattoo inventory, researchers spotted a tattoo cluster on Iceman’s chest where there were no signs of an ailment. This newly discovered cluster could challenge prevailing theories about the purpose of the Iceman’s tats. But researchers were quick to point out that he may have suffered from other health issues that caused pain in the chest area but that weren’t recorded in the remains.

    Ultimately, all theses theories could be dead wrong and the tattoos symbolic of something entirely different. But assembling a definitive inventory of the Iceman’s body art gives future researchers a firm foundation to start from.

    And it also gives a new catalog of designs for would-be inkers, mummy-style.


    Ötzi the Iceman Was Making Prosciutto Over 5,000 Years Ago

    New research on Ötzi the Iceman, an exquisitely preserved 5,300-year-old human found in a European glacier, shows that he ate a form of dry-cured meat known as “speck”—a fatty, bacon-like snack that’s still found on charcuterie boards today.

    In other words, prehistoric, Copper Age Europeans were eating a form of prosciutto over 5,000 years ago. The remarkable discovery was made by European Academy of Bolzano mummy expert Albert Zink, who has been studying the stomach contents of Ötzi the Iceman for years. Back in 2011, Zink found traces of Ibex—a species of wild goat that lives in the mountains of the European Alps—preserved in the mummy’s stomach. This latest research adds a new level of detail to his original finding, showing that Ötzi ate dry-cured meat that was prepared in a very bacon-like way.

    Scientists discover 5200-year-old iceman's final meal

    Ötzi the Iceman may have died 5200 years ago in the Italian Alps, but scientists are still divining

    As a quick refresher, Ötzi’s remains were found preserved in a glacier in 1991 by German hikers who were making their way through the Ötzal Alps near the border of Italy and Switzerland. It has proven to be one of the most incredible discoveries in scientific history, producing an absolute treasure trove of information about Copper Age Europeans.

    Studies have shown that Ötzi was between 40 and 50 years old when he died, and that he was likely killed by an arrow which struck his left shoulder. His tattoo-covered body showed signs of chronic joint pain, Lyme disease, periodontal disease, ulcers , and a host of non-fatal wounds, including knife cuts and a serious blunt force trauma to his face, which he likely received in the days or hours before his death. Ötzi, it is clear, lived a very rough-and-tumble life—and endured an even tougher death.


    How science is giving voice to mummies such as Otzi the Iceman

    Ötzi the Iceman has come to life. Credit: Simon Claessen/Flickr, CC BY-SA

    Researchers recently managed to recreate the voice of 5,300-year-old Ötzi the iceman by recreating his vocal tract. The technology is promising and could be used to digitally produce the voices of other mummified remains. But how does it work and what else could it be used for?

    When you make a vowel sound (aah, ee, oh, ooh and so on), three parts of your anatomy play important roles: your lungs, your larynx and the tube made from your throat and mouth. Your lungs provide the airflow that powers the sound. If the flow becomes too weak it will turn into a whisper instead.

    Your larynx, or voice box, sits about midway between your lungs and your lips, just behind your Adam's apple. The part you can feel from the outside is the cartilage protecting and supporting the vocal folds (or vocal cords) inside. These are a pair of soft, lip-like structures that run from your Adam's apple to the back of your windpipe.

    You can bring these folds firmly together across your windpipe to close it off completely – you do this when you cough or choke. You can also bring them across so they just touch, and if you do that and then breathe out they vibrate in much the same way your lips do if you blow a raspberry. These vibrating vocal folds are the source of sound for a vowel. If you say aah while you press your fingers gently either side of your Adam's apple you can feel the vibrations in your larynx.

    Vocal tract. Credit: wikimedia

    Everyone's voice has a natural pitch based on the size of their larynx and in particular the length and thickness of their vocal folds. Your natural pitch is what comes out when your throat muscles are fairly relaxed and you don't try to speak too loudly. Women have shorter, thinner vocal folds than men and so they have generally a higher natural pitch.

    If your windpipe ended just above the larynx then you would just be able to produce buzzing sounds. The lowest frequency in the buzzing sound is part of your natural pitch, but there is also energy at many higher frequencies included in that sound. It's the airway that shapes the buzz sound into a particular vowel.

    We can think of this airway as a tube. You can change the length of that tube by protruding your lips, as you do when you say ooh, or by moving your tongue. When you say aah, your tongue rolls back out of your mouth and into your throat so the lower half of the tube is narrow and the upper half is wide, for example.

    Every tube has a series of resonance frequencies that relates to its length and its cross-sectional area. These are the frequencies of sound that pass along the tube most easily and with least energy loss, so if we have a buzz sound generated at the larynx end of the tube, the sound at the lips' end will be the original buzz, but with the resonance frequencies of the tube sounding much louder than any other frequencies in the buzz.

    Good for his age. Credit: wikimedia

    When you listen to a vowel sound it's these resonance frequencies you are using to decide which vowel you are hearing. Changing the position of your tongue and lips changes the length and cross-section of the tube, which changes the resonances and ultimately the vowel you hear.

    To know how Ötzi the Iceman sounded we need to know how long and how thick his vocal folds were – that tells us about the natural pitch of his voice. We also need to know how long his airway was and about the cross-sectional area to work out the resonance frequencies. His tongue and lips will have been preserved in one particular position which will only give us information about a single vowel sound. So if we are to work out how he sounded for other vowels we also need to know a bit about the size of his tongue and where it joined to his windpipe. Knowing this allows us to work out the other possible tube-shapes he could make and calculate their related resonances.

    But how can you actually work all this out? It's pretty simple, all you really need is a CT scan, which uses X-rays to create detailed images of the inside of the body. This allows us to measure all these anatomical dimensions. We can then use that information to make a computer model to synthesise what his voice might have sounded like.

    The first use of X-rays to explore mummified remains is thought to have been by Walter Konig in 1896, very soon after X-rays were first discovered. CT scans have been conducted on mummies for more than 40 years, with the popularity of the technique increasing rapidly over the last decade or so. However, the study of Ötzi the Iceman seems to be the first time the CT data has been used to synthesise a voice.

    In a study of 137 mummies published in the Lancet in 2013, CT scans were used to show that, contrary to much current thinking, disease of the arteries was common in many pre-industrial populations. For speech, the CT scanning technique could similarly provide us with valuable information about the dimensions of the vocal system for any mummified body. And with enough different sets of scans we might be able to track trends in voice over time, such as changes in the typical natural frequency due to nutrition and body size.

    One of the big open questions about speech is exactly when the ability to communicate in this way evolved, and there is quite a controversy about whether Neanderthals, for example, could speak. Sadly the CT scanning techniques can't help us with this as they rely on the preservation of soft tissue. The earliest hominid remains are fossilised which means only the bone structure has survived. The absence of lung, larynx, airway or tongue information in these fossils makes our ability to predict their capacity for speech very much less certain. At about 5,300-years-old Ötzi is the earliest European mummy in existence, but deliberately mummified bodies as old as 7,000 years have been found in South America. Spirit Cave Man, found in North America in 1940, has been dated at 9,000-years-old, so if CT scans were made, even older voices than Ötzi's could perhaps be heard one day.


    5000 Years Mummy Spoke Indian Language Otzi Mummy Voice

    A well preserved Mummy of an Iceman was found in Otzi Alps, Italian-Austrian Alps about twenty five years ago.

    Ötzi the Iceman, now housed at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy Naturalistic reconstruction of Ötzi – South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

    Scientists and Archaeologists dated the mummy ,

    ‘ around 3,300 BCE, more precisely between 3359 and 3105 BCE, with a 66 percent chance that he died between 3239 and 3105 BCE’.

    The Mitanni Empire covered what is now known as Iraq, Turkey Syria, Lebanon,Egypt and included Italy.

    They were the ancestors of these people.

    Mitanni were the ancestors of the Egyptians as well.

    “The first Mitanni king was Sutarna I (good sun). He was followed by Baratarna I (or Paratarna great sun), Parasuksatra(ruler with axe),…. Saustatar (Sauksatra, son of Suksatra, the good ruler), Artadama (abiding in cosmic law)..Tushratta (Dasaratha), and finally Matiwazza (Mativaja, whose wealth is thought) during whose lifetime the Mitanni state appears to have become a vassal to Assyria”. Subhash Kak traces the ‘arna’ syllable in the names of the kings to ‘araNi’ (अरणि) meaning ‘sun’

    the term yavana denoted an Ionian Greek”.(3) On pages 83–5 she makes mention of early Indian literature where foreigners were dubbed “yavana”, and points to an Asokan inscription where a border-people is given this appellation. In central and western India, she says, Yavana “figure prominently as donors to the Buddhist Sangha”.

    Considering these facts it is not surprising to find the name Sharada , called as Sarda in Sardinia, Italy.

    Scholars may pursue the issue.

    Please read my other articles on Sanatana Dharma Mittani, Sumerian, Minoan, and other ancient civilizations like Mayas and Incas.

    And Immigration of world population from India.

    The sounds reproduced by the scientists of The Otzi Mummy sound closer to Indian languages , more like a Dravidian language, when on hears the pronunciation of long sounds, AA, EE, AE”

    Taking into account the archaeological etymological and historical eveidence one may safely say that this Otzi Mummy Find corroborates the theory that Hindus were spread throughout the world and the Religion was Sanatana Dharma.

    ‘Scientists hailing from Bolzano’s General Hospital, Italy, used CT scans to produce a model of the ice mummy’s mouth, throat, and vocal cords. This allowed them to create a digital reconstruction—or the “best possible approximation”—of Otzi’s voice….

    ‘ The mummy was found in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps, hence the nickname “Ötzi”, near the Similaun mountain and Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy.He is Europe’s oldest known natural human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view of Chalcolithic Europeans. His body and belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy….

    “We can’t say we have reconstructed Otzi’s original voice, because we miss some crucial information from the mummy,” Rolando Fustos, the study’s lead researcher, explained to Rossella Lorenzi from Discovery News.

    “But with two measurements, the length of both the vocal tract and the vocal cords, we have been able to recreate a fairly reliable approximation of the mummy’s voice. This is a starting point for further research.”

    He added: “The vocal cords are the source of the vocal sound, but the main contribution to it is given by the selective filtering accomplished by the vocal tract configuration.”

    “Of course, we don’t know what language he spoke 5,000 years ago,” said fellow researcher Francesco Avanzini. “But we should be able to recreate the timbre of his vowel sounds and, I hope, even create simulation of consonants.”

    Reconstructing those vowel sounds presented its own set of challenges. Because MRI scans would have caused Otzi damage, the team opted to use CT scans. Unfortunately, CT scans could only measure the mummy’s internal structure.

    Also adding unnecessary complications was Otzi’s position when he died.

    “We had to deal with Otzi’s position, whose arm is covering his throat,” stated Avanzini. “For our project this is the worst position you can imagine. Moreover, the hyoid bone—or tongue-bone—was party absorbed and dislocated.”

    The scientists used special software to digitally maneuver Otzi’s arm away from his throat, as well as erect his skull. This allowed them to create a model of the vocal tract’s entire physical structure.

    According to researcher Piero Cosi, the team also used mathematical models, and software that “simulates the way the vocal tract works,” to reconstruct information about the throat tissue’s composition and thickness, and the vocal cords’ density and tension.

    The combined data convinced them that the frequency of Otzi’s voice was between 100 and 150 Hz—not too different from the average modern male.

    The team presented the vocalizations at a congress—commemorating the discovery of Otzi in South Tyrol’s Otztal Alps 25 years ago—held at the European Research Academy (EURAC) Institute for Mummies and the Iceman located in Bolzano.

    “This is a new, interesting aspect on Otzi’s research that deserves to be taken into consideration for further research,” stated the EURAC Institute for Mummies and the Iceman director, Albert Zink.

    Genetic analysis

    Ötzi’s full genome has been sequenced the report on this was published on 28 February 2012.The Y-DNA of Ötzi belongs to asubclade of G defined by the SNPs M201, P287, P15, L223 and L91 (G-L91, ISOGG G2a2b, former “G2a4”). He was not typed for any of the subclades downstreaming from G-L91. G-L91 is now mostly found in South Corsica.

    Analysis of his mitochondrial DNA showed that Ötzi belongs to the K1 subclade, but cannot be categorized into any of the three modern branches of that subclade (K1a, K1b or K1c). The new subclade has provisionally been named K1ö for Ötzi. Multiplex assay study was able to confirm that the Iceman’s mtDNA belongs to a previously unknown European mtDNA clade with a very limited distribution among modern data sets.

    By autosomal DNA, Ötzi is most closely related to southern Europeans, especially to geographically isolated populations like Corsicans and Sardinians.

    DNA analysis also showed him at high risk of atherosclerosis and lactose intolerance, with the presence of the DNA sequence of Borrelia burgdorferi, possibly making him the earliest known human with Lyme disease. A later analysis suggested the sequence may have been a different Borrelia species.

    A 2012 paper by paleoanthropologist John Hawks suggests that Ötzi had a higher degree of Neanderthal ancestry than modern Europeans.

    In October 2013, it was reported that 19 modern Tyrolean men were related to Ötzi. Scientists from the Institute of Legal Medicine at Innsbruck Medical University had analysed the DNA of over 3,700 Tyrolean male blood donors and found 19 who shared a particular genetic mutation with the 5,300-year-old man.

    Blood

    In May 2012, scientists announced the discovery that Ötzi still had intact blood cells. These are the oldest complete human blood cells ever identified. In most bodies this old, the blood cells are either shrunken or mere remnants, but Ötzi’s have the same dimensions as living red blood cells and resembled a modern-day sample.

    H. pylori analysis

    In 2016, researchers reported on a study from the extraction of twelve samples from the gastrointestinal tract of Ötzi to analyze the origins of the Helicobacter pylori in his gut. [ The H. pylori strain found in his gastrointestinal tract was, surprisingly, the hpAsia2 strain, a strain today found primarily in South Asian and Central Asian populations, with extremely rare occurrences in modern European populations. The strain found in Ötzi’s gut is most similar to three modern individuals from Northern India the strain itself is, of course, older than the modern Northern Indian straince


    5,300 year-old iceman's scores of tattoos deciphered in shock new discovery

    SCORES of mysterious tattoos on a 5,300-year-old iceman have finally been been deciphered in a groundbreaking new discovery.

    The new study of Otzi the Iceman revealed the markings on his skin were used to treat his ailments.

    This suggests a surprisingly sophisticated culture of healthcare at this point in human history.

    Scientists at the Institute for Mummy Research in Bolzano found Otzi, who lived to around 50 years-old, suffered from several chronic health problems.

    A careful study of his remains showed he had rotting teeth, stomach ulcers and knackered joints.

    And the Institute’s Albert Zink claims that Otzi was treated for his medical woes by prehistoric doctors.

    Researchers found traces of birch polypore fungi in Otzi&aposs belongings which have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.

    They also found bracken which was used to combat intestinal parasites.

    And a more careful study of Otzi&aposs body revealed the iceman&aposs skin was covered with 61 tattoos.

    They were found on Otzi&aposs wrists and ankles – around areas where researchers believe the iceman suffered from degenerative diseases.

    To make the tattoos, coal dust was rubbed into small wounds similar to acupuncture needle holes, which considered a time-consuming and skilful endeavour.

    And many correspond to traditional acupuncture points.

    And this sophisticated practice – along with the variety of herbs and medicines – would have likely been developed through a dedicated, systematic trial-and-error approach that was passed down through generations in the society in which Ötzi lived, the team concludes.

    Researchers added this proves Otzi and his contemporaries understood anatomy, how diseases develop, and how to treat them.

    However what scientists don’t know is whether any of these treatments actually worked.

    Since his discovery in 1991 on an Alpine glacier, the mummified man Otzi has been examined by multiple teams of scientists, with new discoveries coming to light each time.

    Earlier this year, experts found undisputed proof that Otzi died from an arrow injury.

    Thomas Bonfert, who investigated the world&aposs most famous mummified body for his doctoral thesis, confirmed earlier assumptions that Otzi was shot in the pit in which he was later found.

    Previously, Albert Zink and his colleagues learned that Otzi&aposs last meal before dying was dry-cured goat meat.


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