Ancient ‘chewing gum’ reveals the oldest Scandinavian human DNA
The first humans to settle in Scandinavia over 10,000 years ago left their DNA behind in ancient chewing gums, which are masticated lumps of birch bark pitch. There are only a few human bones of this age in Scandinavia, and most have not preserved enough DNA for genetic studies. In fact, the DNA from these newly examined chewing gums is the oldest human DNA sequenced from this area so far. The DNA derived from three individuals, two females and one male, creates an exciting link between material culture and human genetics. This new research was conducted at Stockholm University and published in Communications Biology.