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Rare tumor found in 1,600-year-old remains

Archaeologists working in the necropolis in Spain have found the 1,600-year-old remains of a Roman woman with a calcified tumor in her pelvis.

The woman, who died some 1,600 years ago, had a condition known today as an ovarian teratoma which, as its name indicates, occurs in the ovaries . The word Teratoma comes from the Greek words “teras” and “onkoma” which translate to “monster” and “swelling,” respectively. The tumor is about 1.7 inches (44 millimeters) in diameter at its largest point.

“Ovarian teratomas are bizarre, but benign tumors,” writes lead researcher Núria Armentano, of the ANTROPÒLEGS.LAB company and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, in an email to LiveScience.

The tumors come from germ cells, which form human eggs and can create hair, teeth and bone, among other structures.

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Story: Owen Jarus, LiveScience | Photo: International Journal of Paleopathology

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