Rare Ovarian Tumor Discovered in Egyptian New Kingdom Burial

Egypt Amarna TeratomaCARBONDALE, ILLINOIS—A team of scientists led by bioarchaeologist Gretchen Dabbs of Southern Illinois University Carbondale has identified a possible ovarian teratoma in the more than 3,000-year-old burial of a young woman, according to a Live Science report. The woman’s remains were found wrapped in a plant fiber mat in the cemetery in Amarna, Egypt. A ring decorated with an image of Bes, a deity associated with childbirth, fertility, and protection, had been placed on her left hand, which rested above the location of the teratoma. The tumor, which contained two deformed teeth and likely produced pain and swelling, appeared as a bony mass about the size of a large grape during the excavation of the woman’s pelvis. The researchers concluded that the woman may have worn the image of Bes on a ring as “magico-medical” protection against symptoms produced by the teratoma, or perhaps to help her conceive. To read about burials at Amarna of individuals wearing distinctive headpieces, go to “Egyptian Coneheads.”

Source: archaeology.org

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