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A piece of 10 000 year old chewing gum was found

By Morgan Wallace
Published in History
February 02, 2024
2 min read
A piece of 10 000 year old chewing gum was found

A Piece of 10,000-Year-Old Chewing Gum Was Found


A fascinating archaeological discovery has recently emerged, shedding light on the habits and lifestyles of our ancestors from over 10,000 years ago. Researchers have unearthed a remarkably well-preserved piece of chewing gum in southern Sweden, providing valuable insights into the daily lives of ancient populations. This remarkable find has excited scientists and historians alike, as it offers a unique window into our distant past.

The chewing gum, believed to be the oldest in the world, was discovered during an archaeological excavation at Huseby-Klev, an ancient Mesolithic site. Made from birch bark pitch, the chewing gum was likely used by our prehistoric ancestors for various purposes, such as glue or even for its medicinal properties. The gum itself was chewed and spat out, leaving behind a valuable artifact that has survived thousands of years.


Thanks to advances in DNA analysis, researchers were able to extract and sequence the entire genome of a young girl from DNA traces found on the chewing gum. Astonishingly, they were able to determine her gender, hair and eye color, and even recreate her facial features. This extraordinary level of detail has opened up new possibilities to understand our ancient ancestors on a personal level, allowing us to connect with them in ways previously unimaginable.

The information extracted from the ancient DNA has provided insights into the dietary habits of these early populations. By analyzing the trapped food particles within the gum, scientists identified traces of various plants and animal species that were consumed as part of their daily diet. This discovery not only informs us about the food choices of these ancient people, but also provides clues about the ecosystem they inhabited and how they adapted to their environment.

The significance of this find goes beyond mere curiosity about our ancestors’ chewing habits. It demonstrates the power of scientific advancements in unraveling the mysteries of our past. Through the analysis of ancient artifacts like this chewing gum, we are able to piece together a more comprehensive narrative of our shared history. This discovery highlights the importance of preserving and studying such archaeological finds, as they hold the key to unlocking the secrets of our ancestors.

To delve deeper into the world of this extraordinary ancient chewing gum, you can refer to the original research article published in Communications Biology by Frantz et al. here. The study provides in-depth analysis, methods, and insights into the archaeological significance of the find.

As we continue to uncover these ancient treasures, we gain a greater understanding of who we are as a species and the path that led us here. The 10,000-year-old chewing gum serves as a reminder that we are part of an intricate tapestry of human history, where each thread tells a unique story. Through exploration and analysis, the secrets of our past come to light, allowing us to connect with our ancestors and appreciate the rich tapestry of human existence.




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Morgan Wallace

Morgan Wallace

Political journalist

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