10,000-year-old chewing gums uncover ancient Scandinavians’ DNA

Published: 2019-05-15


Using the SciLifeLab National Genomics Infrastructure (NGI), a study led by Anders Götherström from Stockholm University has successfully extracted and sequenced genetic material from ancient chewing gums of birch bark pitch found on the Swedish west coast. The results reveal that the DNA came from three separate individuals living in the area around 10,000 years ago and the sequence data provide important clues in determining the genetic origin of Scandinavians.

“Demography analysis suggests that the genetic composition of Huseby Klev individuals show more similarity to western hunter-gatherer populations than eastern hunter-gatherers”, says Emrah Kırdök (Stockholm University), co-author of the paper, in a press release by Stockholm University.

Read the full paper in Communications Biology