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Tumor found in ancient Roman skeleton

Posted on Thursday, 24 January, 2013 | Comment icon 10 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: sxc.hu

Despite having died 1,600 years ago, evidence of one woman's condition can still be found in her remains.

The tumor is particularly unusual because researchers discovered several teeth embedded within it. Known today as an "ovarian teratoma", the tumor would have been benign but was capable of forming teeth, hair and other structures. It is unlikely that the woman knew that she had it and it is also quite possible that it had nothing to do with her death.

The discovery is being hailed as the first of its kind because this condition has never been observed in remains from this time period. "This is an extraordinary case, not only for its antiquity, but also its identification in the archeological record," wrote the research team.

"In a necropolis in Spain, archaeologists have found the remains of a Roman woman who died in her 30s with a calcified tumor in her pelvis, a bone and four deformed teeth embedded within it."

  View: Full article |  Source: Live Science

  Discuss: View comments (10)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Lady Kasey on 23 January, 2013, 14:36
Alien. Seriously, though, it sounds like it might've been a fetus that somehow turned into a tumor? Sounds kinda creepy, but that's the first thing that came to mind. Other than the alien thing.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Taun on 23 January, 2013, 14:40
They are called Teratomas and they are not totally unheard of... (pretty gross though...) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teratoma A teratoma is an encapsulated tumor with tissue or organ components resembling normal derivatives of all three germ layers. The tissues of a teratoma, although normal in themselves, may be quite different from surrounding tissues and may be highly disparate; teratomas have been reported to contain hair, teeth, bone and, very rarely, more complex organs or processes such as eyes,[1][2] torso,[3][4] and hands, feet, or other limbs.[5]
Comment icon #3 Posted by wolfknight on 23 January, 2013, 16:22
That is really wired. But the teeth to strange
Comment icon #4 Posted by WoIverine on 24 January, 2013, 16:04
In before someone else says, "It's notta toomah!"
Comment icon #5 Posted by NikkiAidyn on 24 January, 2013, 19:26
I can't believe they grow teeth. Ewh
Comment icon #6 Posted by bnnwbb on 24 January, 2013, 19:53
Having worked in pathology i can verify they are more common than you think and they are weird to look at LOL but very cool at the same time...
Comment icon #7 Posted by WoIverine on 24 January, 2013, 20:49
Having worked in pathology i can verify they are more common than you think and they are weird to look at LOL but very cool at the same time... I think I'll just have to take your word for that. lol
Comment icon #8 Posted by moonshadow60 on 24 January, 2013, 22:20
It is speculated that a teratoma could be a resorbed twin, in which case teeth and hair would make sense, wouldn't it?
Comment icon #9 Posted by tipotep on 25 January, 2013, 0:46
It is speculated that a teratoma could be a resorbed twin, in which case teeth and hair would make sense, wouldn't it? Im not sure anything makes sense when discussing this topic ! TiP.
Comment icon #10 Posted by coolguy on 25 January, 2013, 4:46
Interesting that they even found this.

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