Scientists were able to obtain DNA from a Stone Age woman, from the tooth marks that she left on a “chewing gum.” This way, they were able to find out more about her genetic code.
This is the very first time when researchers got an ancient human genome from another thing than a human bone. She probably had dark skin, dark brown hair, and blue eyes.
Dr. Hannes, from the University of Copenhagen, stated that the chewing gum was actually tar from a tree, and it’s a fantastic source of DNA, especially when it comes to periods from which we have no human remains. He stated that it’s fantastic that we got a complete ancient human genome from anything other than a bone.
What do we know so far about her?
Her genetic code was successfully decoded, and the researcher was able to see what she looked like. She was closely related to hunter-gatherers from mainland Europe, and she had dark skin, dark brown hair, and blue eyes. She was probably descended from some settlers, which moved up from western Europe just after the glaciers retreated.
The way she lived
Her DNA showed that she lived on Syltholm on Lolland, an island of Denmark in the Baltic Sea.. the DNA signature showed hazelnut and mallard duck, which were part of the diet in that era.
The site is the biggest one in Denmark, and all the finds show that people who occupied the site used all the wild resources well into the Neolithic – the period when the domesticated animals and the farming started to take their toll in southern Scandinavia.
How did they get the DNA?
They found the DNA stuck in a black-brown lump of birch pitch. The presence of the tooth shows that she chewed the substance, probably because she wanted to make it more malleable, or she probably wanted to relieve toothache.