This ain’t your grandfather’s Woodstock weed. It’s not even your great-great-great-great grandfather’s weed, either.
Archaeologists in northwest China have discovered a tomb of a man with 13 cannabis plants carefully arranged on top of his chest. Radiometric dating suggests the burial site to be between 2,400 to 2,800 years old, according to the report in Economic Botany.
The report, “Ancient Cannabis Burial Shroud in a Central Eurasian Cemetery,” had this to say about the “extraordinary cache”:
This unique discovery provides new insight into the ritualistic use of Cannabis in prehistoric Central Eurasia. Furthermore, the fragmented infructescences of Cannabis discovered in other tombs of the Jiayi cemetery, together with similar Cannabis remains recovered from coeval tombs in the ancient Turpan cemetery along with those found in the Altai Mountains region, reveal that Cannabis was used by the local Central Eurasian people for ritual and/or medicinal purposes in the first millennium before the Christian era.
Translated from archeology-speak to basic English, the report proves again that cannabis has been a medicinal and spiritual herb before Jesus Christ walked the earth.
According to National Geographic, who first reported the findings:
The burial is one of 240 graves excavated at the Jiayi cemetery in Turpan, and is associated with the Subeixi culture(also known as the Gushi Kingdom) that occupied the area between roughly 3,000 to 2,000 years ago. At the time, Turpan’s desert oasis was an important stop on the Silk Road.
The discovery confirms what most archeological scientists have been saying all along: Cannabis has a long history in nearly every culture on earth. Its reputation as an evil, dangerous substance is a relatively new phenomenon.
According to most historians, cannabis evolved about 12,000 years ago in Central Asia, in the area now known as Mongolia and southern Siberia. It is considered among civilization’s oldest cultivated crops. The first record of cannabis’ use as a medicine dates to 4000 B.C.