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Archaeological Discovery Proves Humans Have Been Using Cannabis for at Least 2,400 Years

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 19:11
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Cannabis

Carey Wedler

Archaeologists in China recently discovered evidence indicating humans have been using cannabis as medicine and employing it in spiritual rituals for over 2,400 years.

According to a research paper entitled “Ancient Cannabis Burial Shroud in a Central Eurasian Cemetery”, published in Economic Botany late last month, “[a]n extraordinary cache of ancient, well-preserved Cannabis plant remains was recently discovered in a tomb in the Jiayi cemetery of Turpan, NW China.

The researchers, led by Hongen Jiang, an archaeologist at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, discovered 13 whole female cannabis plants buried in the tomb of a 35-year-old Caucasian man. The research paper explains that the cannabis plants “appear to have been locally produced and purposefully arranged and used as a burial shroud which was placed upon a male corpse.” Researchers suspect he might have been a shaman.

Radiocarbon dating suggests the tomb is between 2,400 and 2,800 years old.

National Geographic elaborated on the discovery:

The burial is one of 240 graves excavated at the Jiayi cemetery in Turpan, and is associated with the Subeixi culture (also known as the Gushi Kingdom) that occupied the area between roughly 3,000 to 2,000 years ago. At the time, Turpan’s desert oasis was animportant stop on the Silk Road.”

Jiang, the paper’s lead author, explained the significance of their discovery:

This is the first time archaeologists have recovered complete cannabis plants, as well as the first incidence of their use as a ‘shroud’ in a human burial.”

According to Jiang, and paraphrased by National Geographic:

This discovery adds to a growing collection of archaeological evidence showing that cannabis consumption was ‘very popular’ across the Eurasian steppe thousands of years ago.

The paper notes the researchers’ findings add to mounting evidence humans have long used cannabis:

Read More HERE

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