What did the person living in the territory look like?Europe long before the construction of the Egyptian pyramids? Setting out to find the answer to this question, scientists analyzed and completely restored the genome of an ancient girl who lived in the territory of modern Denmark about 5700 years ago. For the reconstruction, the researchers needed only the presence of a small piece of birch resin, which for many millennia perpetuated the imprint of the teeth of a human being who lived on the Danish island of Lolland.
What did ancient people look like?
Unaware of this, we often leave afterthemselves a large number of traces of their life. Most likely, the girl who lived 700 years before the construction of the world's first pyramid could not even imagine that after several thousand years her appearance would be restored only with a piece of resin, which the ancient inhabitant of Denmark used as chewing gum.
According to an article published in the journal NatureCommunications, the samples obtained, which were found during excavations on the Danish island of Lolland, allowed to restore the entire genome of the oldest representative of man. This finding is a unique case, since it was not possible to restore DNA in the absence of skeletal remains ever before.
See also: DNA of a man who died in 1827 was restored without his remains.
Analyzing the resulting sample, scientists discoverednot only the oldest human DNA mixed with the microbial from the oral microbiome of the found girl, but also the DNA of plants and animals that could be recently consumed as food, being a component of the basic diet of ancient people.
According to experts, the surviving DNA particlesare no less informative keeper of information than well-preserved teeth or bones of the skull. Scientists came to the conclusion that the person using the resin chewing gum was female, most likely had dark skin, dark brown hair and blue eyes.
Experts note that this combinationphysical signs were not previously observed in other European hunter-gatherers. They suggest that the girl’s phenotypic features, which are so different from modern ones, were widespread in Mesolithic Europe. The spread of light skin pigmentation in European populations occurred much later.
The results of the study alsoevidence that the girl’s origin comes from mainland Europe, which may confirm her existence during the transition period, when the late Mesolithic Ertebelle (7300-5900 BC) gave way to the early Neolithic culture (5900-5300 BC e).
Scientists also discovered hazelnut and duck DNA,which, most likely, were eaten by a person before chewing chewing gum. In addition, experts found signs of several types of bacteria in the oral cavity, as well as the Epstein-Barr virus or herpes.
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