Student dig unearths ancient gum

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Beer Monster

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Aug 25, 2004
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With the gnu!
Saw this on the BBC website and thought it maybe of some interest:-

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

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Birch bark tar has antiseptic properties, scientists say

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."

Ms Pickin, who was one of five UK students on a volunteer programme at the Kierikki Centre on the west coast of Finland, said: "I was delighted to find the gum and was very excited to learn more about the history."

She added: "I am keen to work in this area in the future so the experience has stood me in good stead."

The archaeology student also found part of an amber ring and a slate arrow head which will be on display at the centre following laboratory analysis.

Link.
 

Beer Monster

Need to contact Admin...
Aug 25, 2004
620
5
43
With the gnu!
you beat me to it!
I've never plucked up the courage to chew a bit of resin..

:lmao: . I think they have also found chewed up bits of willow bark at previous digs?? Something to do with it's pain killing properties etc. I would have thought it would be very bitter :eek: !
 

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