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Earliest known signs of cannabis smoking unearthed in China - As Featured in The Guardian

Incense burners found at 2,500-year-old cemetery suggest intentional use of the plant to get high

Scorched wooden incense burners unearthed at an ancient burial ground in the mountains of western China contain the oldest clear evidence of cannabis smoking yet found, archaeologists say.

Residues of high potency cannabis found in the burners, and on charred pebbles placed inside them, suggest that funeral rites at the 2,500-year-old Jirzankal cemetery in the Pamir mountains may have been rather hazy affairs.

Scientists believe the stones were heated in a fire before being transferred to the wooden braziers and covered with cannabis, which duly billowed psychoactive smoke. With music as an accompaniment, the heady fumes may have prompted those present to attempt to commune with nature, spirits or the dead.

 


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