Archaeologists unearth ancient cannabis 'burial shroud'

Posted on October 18th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Central Asia Archaeologists working in China's far western Xinjiang region report the discovery of an "extraordinary cache" of cannabis, found in an ancient burial site. National Geographic says the unprecedented find "adds considerably to our understanding of how ancient Eurasian cultures used the plant for ritual and medicinal purposes."  Writing in the journal Economic Botany, archaeologist Hongen Jiang and his colleagues describe the burial of a 35-year-old adult man with Caucasian features in Xinjiang's Turpan Basin. The body was laid out on a wooden bed with 13 cannabis plants—each nearly three feet long—placed across the chest.

Radiocarbon dating indicates the burial took place some 2,500 years ago. Jiang states that the discovery adds to growing evidence that cannabis use was "very popular" across the Eurasian steppes in the ancient past. The burial site is one of 240 excavated at the Jiayi cemetery in Turpan, and is believed to be from the Subeixi culture, also known as the Gushi Kingdom. Turpan's desert oasis was an important stop on the Silk Road in the days of the Gushi, and it is increasingly clear that cannabis was a key commodity plied by merchants along the caravan route. Cannabis has been found before in other Gushi burial sites. But this is the first time archeologists have unearthed complete cannabis plants—good evidence that the stuff was grown locally in the Turpan oasis.

Cross-post to High Times

 

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