Can 5,300-year-old mummy finally get its voice?

Artist's impression shows what Otzi the Iceman possibly looked like -- now we may hear his voice too.

Story highlights

  • Italian researchers are trying to recreate the voice of Otzi, a 5,300-year-old mummy
  • They hope to have a digital simulation in one year

(CNN)He hasn't talked for 53 centuries, but Otzi the Iceman may be about to break his silence.

Italian researchers in the northern city of Bolzano are working to recreate the 5,300-year-old man's voice.
    "In about a year we should be able to give Otzi a voice -- or at least recreate the best possible approximation of his voice," project coordinator Francesco Avanzini, ENT specialist at the city's San Maurizio Hospital, told CNN.
      In what he claims is the first such experiment ever carried out on a mummy, Avanzini and his colleagues have used CT scans to create a model of Otzi's vocal tract, including the vocal cords and his mouth. Researchers at the National Research Council in Padua will then use this model and special software to recreate the Iceman's voice.