– A 2,500-year-old cannabis burial shroud had been unearthed at Silk Road oasis in China.
The ancient body of a who died when he was about 35 years old, was wrapped in cannabis plants which suggests the psychoactive plant may have been used for ritual purposes. Archaeologists said the plants, which were up to about a metre long, appeared to have been arranged as a “burial shroud”.
Radiocarbon dating was used to estimate the tomb was created sometimes between 2,400 and 2,800 years ago. Writing in the journal Economic Botany, archaeologist Dr Hongen Jiang, of the Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, and colleagues described the discovery as “extraordinary”.
“Research discussed in this paper describes 13 nearly whole plants of cannabis that appear to have been locally produced and purposefully arranged and used as a burial shroud which was placed upon a male corpse,” they said. “This unique discovery provides new insight into the ritualistic use of cannabis in prehistoric central Eurasia.”