23 January 2013

"Beaker vessels" for drinking holly extract

Coffee had not yet arrived in Europe from southern Arabia when Spanish explorers came to the southeastern United States and discovered that Native Americans were already drinking a highly caffeinated beverage. Called Black Drink, it was made from the toasted leaves of two species of llex (holly) and was used by many tribes as part of purification rituals that also included fasting and vomiting...

By analyzing residue left in the beaker vessels dating to as early as A.D. 1050 from which Black Drink was consumed, Crown’s team has shown that the local population of Cahokia, the largest pre-Columbian site north of Mexico, had in fact been imbibing the potent potable 500 years earlier than previously thought.
Photo credit: Linda Alexander and the Illinois State Archaeological Survey.

1 comment:

  1. That's very interesting. I had not heard of that drink. Having partaken in Ayahuasca ceremonies, I know how powerful and healing those kinds of purging rituals can be.

    Another similar story I just blogged is about some researchers finding traces of chocolate (theobromine, etc.) in some N. American tribal pottery bowls, indicating a more robust trade up from Mexico and points south than most people think. I have some comments about how that might relate to Kokopelli, as well.



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