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Otzi The Iceman 'Speaks' After 5,000 Years Of Silence

28/09/2016 3:21 AM AEST | Updated 28/09/2016 3:21 AM AEST
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A statue representing an iceman named Oetzi, discovered on 1991 in the Italian Schnal Valley glacier, is displayed at the Archaeological Museu of Bolzano on February 28, 2011 during an official presentation of the reconstrution. Based on three-dimensional images of the mummy's skeleton as well as the latest forensic technology, a new model of the living Oetzi has been created by Dutch experts Alfons and Adrie Kennis. AFP PHOTO / Andrea Solero (Photo credit should read Andrea Solero/AFP/Getty Images)

In the 25 years since hikers stumbled upon his mummified remains high in the Italian Alps, Otzi the Iceman has given up many of his secrets.

In addition to the clothing he wore and the tools he used, research has detailed the germs he carried, the illnesses he suffered from and even the tattooes he had. We also know how he died and what he had for his last meal (wild goat).

Now we know the sound of his voice.

Otzi has been dead for more than 5,000 years, so how can we tell what he sounded like? Researchers working in Italy recently reconstructed his voice with the help of computer software and a 3D model of the Iceman’s vocal tract based upon CT scans of his mummified body.

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Mountaineers with Otzi in the Otztal Alps between Austria and Italy in September 1991. 
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Otzi on display at a museum in Bolzano, Italy, on Feb. 28, 2011.

“We made obviously some approximations of the real Otzi, because we lacked the exact dimensions of the vocal chords and the thickness and compositions of his tissues,” Dr. Francesco Avanzini, the physician who led the research team, told The Huffington Post in an email.

Avanzini, who presented the research earlier this month at the third Bolzano Mummy Congress, acknowledged that the gravelly voice heard in the brief recording is only an approximation.

But it sounds eerily lifelike. And unless someone figures out how to bring Otzi back to life, he’s not about to raise his voice in objection.

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