Student dig unearths ancient gum

From the BBC: Student dig unearths ancient gum.

A 5,000-year-old piece of chewing gum has been discovered by an archaeology student from the University of Derby.

Sarah Pickin, 23, found the lump of birch bark tar while on a dig in western Finland.

Neolithic people used the material as an antiseptic to treat gum infections, as well as a glue for repairing pots.

Ms Pickin’s tutor, Professor Trevor Brown, said: "It’s particularly significant because well defined tooth imprints were found on the gum."

He explained: "Birch bark tar contains phenols, which are antiseptic compounds." [continue]

One thought on “Student dig unearths ancient gum

  1. Thanks for this! Such a surprise when I read “Finland”. Had to blog about it, too. As I wrote: Finland doesn’t often come up in international archaeological news, so this was cool for me. Who would think dirty old gum could be so interesting? Amazing proof that there were humans living so far north 5,000 years ago.

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