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Ancient Cannabis 'Burial Shroud' Discovered

An ancient burial site in northwest Chin ahas yielded some surprising discoveries. A team led by archaeologist Hongen Jiang are analyzing a grave that contained a 35-year-old man with Caucasian features who was buried over 2,000 years ago. One of the treasures buried with him was a stash of marijuana plants.  

Thirteen cannabis plants, each up to almost three feet long, were placed diagonally across the man's chest, with the roots oriented beneath his pelvis and the tops of the plants extending from just under his chin, up and alongside the left side of his face. (Read how Eurasian gold artifacts tell the tale of drug-fueled rituals.)

Radiocarbon dating of the tomb's contents indicates that the burial occurred approximately 2,400 to 2,800 years ago.

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, says Jiang.

The burial site is at the Turpan oasis, which was an important stop on the ancient Silk Road trade route. Cannabis seeds have been found at burial sites before, but this is the first from the period that contained whole plants. Read more about the discovery at National Geographic. -via reddit, where the author from National Geographic is taking part in the discussion.
 
(Image credit: Hongen Jiang)


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