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Signs of ritual pot smoking found in ancient Chinese graves

By The News · 14 of June 2019 20:04:15
AP Photo,, No available, FILE - This May 20, 2019 file photo shows marijuana plants in a grow room using green lights during their night cycle in Gardena, Calif. According to research released on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, archaeologists have unearthed the earliest direct evidence of people smoking marijuana from a 2,500-year-old graveyard in western China. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Archaeologists have unearthed the earliest direct evidence of people smoking marijuana from a 2,500-year-old graveyard in western China.

The evidence comes from 10 wooden bowls found in a complex of lofty tombs situated among the Pamir Mountains.

Using new techniques for chemical analysis, the scientists examined burnt residue from the bowls and found remnants of THC, the compound that gives marijuana its high. The researchers believe the pot was burned as part of a burial ritual.

The history of ancient drug use has long intrigued scholars. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote of people in Central Asia smoking cannabis around 440 B.C.

The new research was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.