Egyptians had some - well, ODD to me - interesting ideas about the Voice and spirit.
The rationale for analyzing a mummy's desiccated vocal chords is still lost on me, but this study of Nesyamun
is at least 'politically correct':
It was also a fundamental belief that ‘to speak the name of the dead is to make them live again’ (alternatively translated: ‘a man is revived when his name is pronounced’13), both by living relatives and by the deceased themselves when appearing before the gods of judgement. Only those able to verbally confirm that they had led a virtuous life were granted entry into eternity and awarded the epithet ‘maat kheru’, ‘true of voice’14, as applied to Nesyamun himself throughout his coffin inscriptions. In these texts, Nesyamun asks that his soul receives eternal sustenance, is able to move around freely and to see and address the gods9 as he had in his working life. Therefore his documented wish to be able to speak after his death, combined with the excellent state of his mummified body, made Nesyamun the ideal subject for the ‘Voices from the Past’ project for which his body was re-examined using state-of the-art CT scanning equipment.
Since human remains have unique status not as ‘objects’ but as the remains of once-living people (see SI), it was also necessary to consider the ethical issues raised by the research and its possible heritage outcomes15,16. The team concluded that the potential benefits outweighed the concerns, particularly because Nesyamun’s own words express his desire to ‘speak again’ and that the scientific techniques used were non-destructive.