From a one inch wad of birch pitch, chewed and spat out by a hunter-gatherer referred to as Lola around the year 3,700 BC, scientists were able to piece together an entire genetic snapshot—which goes so far as to include the meal she ate that day. The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications and represent the first time researchers “have been able to reconstruct a complete human genome [and oral microbiome] from the deep past via ‘non-human material’ rather than from physical remains,” according to National Geographic. Excavated at the Syltholm site, on the Danish island of Lolland, the Stone Age “chewing gum” acts as a reminder that even unremarkable artifacts should be preserved for the seemingly invisible records they keep. Read more at National Geographic.
Genetic Sequencing Human DNA from 5,700-Year-Old Chewing Gum