28 November 2008

Caucasian mummy in China - had 28 oz. of marijuana

The Caucasian mummies of central China are a fascinating story in their own right, and probably worth some additional blog posts in the future.
Cherchen Man, for example is obviously caucasoid, 6'6" tall (and Cherchen woman also over 6' in height), wearing brightly colored and expertly woven woolens; they were living in this area north of Tibet in about 1000 B.C. Many Chinese living in this area today have blonde or red hair and blue eyes.
This is the first I've heard about psychoactive agents being found with mummies in that region, although it's not at all surprising that the material would have travelled along the Silk Road.
The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly ``cultivated for psychoactive purposes," rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany.

The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China...

Remnants of cannabis have been found in ancient Egypt and other sites, and the substance has been referred to by authors such as the Greek historian Herodotus. But the tomb stash is the oldest so far that could be thoroughly tested for its properties...

The marijuana was found to have a relatively high content of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis, but the sample was too old to determine a precise percentage.

Researchers also could not determine whether the cannabis was smoked or ingested, as there were no pipes or other clues in the tomb of the shaman, who was about 45 years old...

The region of China where the tomb is located, Xinjiang, is considered an original source of many cannabis strains worldwide.

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...