Ancient Adhesive Provides Archaeological Clues

Posted on 2/25/2019 12:14:38 PM By ASC

It’s reasonable to assume that people started using adhesives as soon as they discovered that some substances are sticky – and archaeological finds back this up. Most recently, chewed and kneaded birch-bark that was used by Scandinavian hunter-gatherers as an adhesive has provided DNA samples that tell scholars more about the people who lived in Sweden thousands of years ago. 

The team says that the birch bark lumps were chewed or kneaded and then used in making tools and weapons. The “chewing gum” samples they uncovered provided DNA evidence showing that both men and women were involved in this form of primitive adhesive manufacture. The DNA samples date this form of glue use as occurring before the last Ice age – over 9,500 years ago.