Why was a teenager with bone cancer buried on Witch Hill in Panama?


(Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute) Likely the first bone tumor from an ancient skeleton in Central America is reported by Smithsonian archaeologists and colleagues. The starburst-shaped tumor is in the upper right arm of the skeleton of an adolescent buried in about 1300 AD in a trash heap at a site in western Panama called Cerro Brujo or Witch Hill. The reason for what appears to be a ritual burial in this abandoned pre-Colombian settlement is unknown.

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