Scientists have proved that the ancient highlanders used psychoactive substances during the funeral rituals. In Eurasia, as scientists believe, the Smoking of pipes came after the discovery of the New world, but the practice of burning certain substances and inhaling the resulting smoke existed since ancient times.
An international group of scientists have discovered the oldest archeological evidence of “Smoking” cannabis.
In the Pamir mountains in Northwest China, researchers found cannabinol(an oxidation product of the active substance of marijuana) in the tombs of the age of 2,5 thousand years.
The birthplace of cannabis, according to molecular studies, the Tibetan plateau, where it appeared more than 28 million years ago. About 10 thousand years ago the inhabitants of Asia have consumed hemp seeds in food, and about 5.5 thousand years ago they made clothes from the fibers of cannabis.
Herodotus in 440 BCE, wrote that the Scythians burned hemp seeds during cleansing rituals and breathed kurushima smoke. This is confirmed by archaeological evidence: in one of the Pazyryk burial mounds archaeologists have found charred seeds which in shape and structure was similar to the seeds of wild hemp.
Thanks to the Chinese and German archaeologists have found the earliest evidence of Smoking cannabis. The burials in the Zoroastrian cemetery in the North-West of China were found the remains of people, some of whom, presumably, sacrificed.
Besides these, archaeologists have found many wooden artifacts, including 10 of altars, probably used as incense burners. Some of them were still charred stones. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry showed that most of the altars were present cannabinol.
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