Indiana Jones and the Scythian Burial Mound

It’s every science kid’s dream job! A profession that’s one part Indiana Jones, one part doctor (Hollywood, are you reading this?) The NY Times looks at cancer through the lens of paleopathology.

“When they excavated a Scythian burial mound in the Russian region of Tuva about 10 years ago, archaeologists literally struck gold. Crouched on the floor of a dark inner chamber were two skeletons, a man and a woman, surrounded by royal garb from 27 centuries ago: headdresses and capes adorned with gold horses, panthers and other sacred beasts.

But for paleopathologists — scholars of ancient disease — the richest treasure was the abundance of tumors that had riddled almost every bone of the man’s body. The diagnosis: the oldest known case of metastasizing prostate cancer.”

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