WASHINGTON – Archaeologists have unearthed the earliest direct evidence of people smoking marijuana from a 2,500-year-old graveyard in western China.
The evidence comes from 10 wooden bowls found in a complex of lofty tombs situated among the Pamir Mountains.
Using new techniques for chemical analysis, the scientists examined burnt residue from the bowls and found remnants of THC, the compound that gives marijuana its high. The researchers believe the pot was burned as part of a burial ritual.
The history of ancient drug use has long intrigued scholars. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote of people in Central Asia smoking cannabis around 440 B.C.
The new research was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.