Psychedelic drugs were used by ancient man, new study shows

Researchers have found evidence of drug use during Bronze Age ceremonies.

Analysis of strands of human hair from a burial site on the Spanish island of Menorca indicates ancient human civilisations used hallucinogenic drugs derived from plants.

The findings are the first direct evidence of ancient drug use in Europe, which may have been used as part of ritualistic ceremonies, researchers say.

Researchers detected scopolamine, ephedrine and atropine in three replicated hair samples.

Atropine and scopolamine are naturally found in the nightshade plant family and can induce delirium, hallucinations and altered sensory perception.

Ephedrine is a stimulant derived from certain species of shrubs and pines which can increase excitement, alertness and physical activity.

Elisa Guerra-Doce, from the Universidad de Valladolid in Spain, and colleagues examined hair from the Es Carritx cave, which was first occupied around 3,600 years ago.

Writing in the Scientific Reports journal, the authors said: “Interestingly, the psychoactive substances detected in this study are not suitable for alleviating the pain involved in severe palaeopathological conditions attested in the population buried in the cave of Es Carritx, such as periapical abscesses, severe caries and arthropathies.

“Considering the potential toxicity of the alkaloids found in the hair, their handling, use and applications represented highly specialised knowledge. This knowledge was typically possessed by shamans, who were capable of controlling the side-effects of the plant drugs through an ecstasy that made diagnosis or divination possible.”

Keep reading

Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: