Artifacts November 1, 2011


NEW JERSEY: Sometimes an artifact isn't a pot or a skull, but a woman singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to a child. Scientists recovered the unidentified voice from a tin phonograph record that would have been part of a 123-year-old talking doll. Because the record, made by Thomas Edison, was bent, it was optically scanned to make a digital model of the recorded surface. Edison's talking dolls, an early attempt to commercialize his phonograph, never found a market.

  • Artifacts July/August 2024

    Etruscan Oil Lamp

    Read Article
    Etruscan Hanging Oil Lamp
    (Courtesy Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca e della Città di Cortona; © DeA Picture Library/Art Resource, NY)
  • Around the World July/August 2024


    Read Article
    (Phillip Parton/ANU)
  • Digs & Discoveries July/August 2024

    Sticking Their Necks Out

    Read Article
  • Features July/August 2024

    Java's Megalithic Mountain

    Across the Indonesian archipelago, people raised immense stones to honor their ancestors

    Read Article
    Indonesia Java Gunung Padang Megalithic Site
    (Courtesy Lutfi Yondri)