An excavator working in an ancient underground tomb in Egypt managed to spot what archaeologists would never have found: a solitary tooth, wedged in the curve of a worn pelvis.
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At first, archaeologist Melinda King Wetzel thought she was looking at a fetus from the time of the Egyptian pharaohs.but when he showed the tomb to the site’s bioarchaeologist, Gretchen Dabbs, the discovery turned out to be even rarer in nature.
Thus, they claim to have found the oldest evidence of a mature ovarian teratoma, or germ cell tumor.
Currently, The mass looks like a calcified group of disorganized, fully formed tissues, such as bones and teeth.
It measures approximately 3 by 2 centimeters and It dates back to the mid-14th century BC.
The researchers say it adds “considerable temporal and geographic depth to our understanding of this condition in the past.”
Wetzel and Dabbs, who come from different companies and universities, have been working together for years on this archaeological site, on the eastern bank of the Nile River, as part of the Amarna Project.
This is a long-term ongoing excavation that aims discover the cemeteries of normal people buried near what was the capital of Pharaoh Akhenaten, established from the year 1345 BC
The young female skeleton with the ovarian tumor was found buried in a multi-chambered tomb in the North Amarna Desert cemetery and was probably between 18 and 21 years old when she died.
She was buried with her hands placed on her pelvis and wrapped in a manner common in other non-elite Amarna cemeteries. However, She wore more jewelry than other nearby bodies.
The specialists concluded that The Egyptian woman’s tumor grew slowly over many years, eventually compressing her internal organs, causing her death.
The tumor is several centuries older than other ancient teratomas previously discovered by archaeologists in Spain, France, Peru and Portugal.
What is an ovarian teratoma?
Ovarian teratoma is a tumor that is made up of different types of tissues, such as muscle, hair, teeth and bones. These tissues come from the three germ layers of the embryo: endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm.
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Benign teratomas are the most common and tend to grow slowly. Malignant teratomas, on the other hand, are rarer and can grow and spread to other parts of the body.
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