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on Unified Communications & Collaboration
An international team of archeologists working a dig at the fourth-kingdom tomb of Aken-Mishpucha deep in southwestern Egypt has uncovered an unusual frieze in the burial chamber of the king's chief administrator. The ancient painting depicts a group video conferencing system used to save travel time between the king's palace and his burial site. The video conferencing set-top system was buried with the king, together with food, wives, and other household appliances to serve Aken-Mishpucha on his journey to the afterlife. Archeologists believe the video system was stolen by grave robbers around 1908 when such activities were relatively common in Egypt.
The inscription in hieroglyphics along the bottom of the room-size graphic describes how the ancient Egyptians built an integrated services digital network using bamboo shoots and the intestines of young camels. The conferencing endpoint was based on all-proprietary technology and delivered wideband audio but only 4-8 frames per second. According to the translation, Aken-Mishpucha believed that video conferencing played a crucial role in helping his construction team finish his burial chamber by 2018BC, 17 years ahead of schedule and on budget. He predicted that given the continuous price and performance improvements of video conferencing systems, every slave would have his own video system by 2015BC and he looked forward to the day when multipoint control units would be invented.