What is believed to be a 5,000-year-old piece of chewing gum has been found in Finland by a British archaeology student, Sarah Pickin, the BBC reported on Monday.
The gum Sarah Pickin found in July was a lump of birch bark tar, showing well-defined tooth imprints. In the Neolithic period the material was used for dental hygiene, as an antiseptic, or as a glue.
The 23-year-old student also found part of an amber ring and a well-preserved slate arrow head.
Sarah Pickin is one of five British exchange students from the University of Derby, participating in an excavation at the Kierikki Centre in the village of Yli-Ii in Northern Finland.
Patrik Franzén from the Kierikki Centre says that such a gum is not really a very rare find. He notes further that the fragment of an amber ring Pickin found is ultimately of greater interest and value, because it implies that the Neolithic people living in the area had international connections.
According to scientists, amber was transported from the Baltic coast as payment for some merchandise in the Neolithic period.
The Kierikki Centre houses an archaeologic exhibition with a Neolithic village. Excavations have been arranged in the area since 1960.