More Medical Cannabis In Ancient Graves
1 min

More Medical Cannabis In Ancient Graves

1 min
A man was buried with full ripe female cannabis plants in an ancient graveyard along the Silk Road in China. Scientists talk about medical and ritual purposes in ancient cultures.

Cannabis plants were unearthed from one more ancient grave in northwest China. A middle-aged male’s skeleton was recently found buried and covered with whole cannabis plants. He lived around 2.400-2.800 years ago in Turpan, an oasis in the desert along the Silk Road. Thirteen female cannabis plants were arranged diagonally across this man’s body, who maybe was a shaman.


Turpan archaeology


A few cannabis plant parts have been found in the past years here in Turpan and other archaeological sites in northwest China and Siberia. The expedition team unearthed seeds, minced leaves, stems, and fragments of fabric. There is plenty of archaeological evidence about extensive cannabis cultivation and consumption for different purposes across the Eurasian regions. The domestication of the cannabis plant started thousands of years ago, yet we haven’t understood all the possible applications known by ancient cultures around the world.


The archaeologist team leader Hongen Jiang says this new find could greatly help us understanding the different uses of this plant in ancient and prehistoric cultures. As an example, no hemp fabric or seeds were found here in Turpan. Many complete cannabis plants were instead found for the first time displayed over the corpse as a shroud. This suggests something different from the pieces of textiles and seeds previously found in other archaeological sites.

This find in China shows us another newsworthy evidence. Almost all of the plants in this grave had their mature flowers removed. Maybe the dead man had just what he needed for his travel, while his relatives kept the rest of the precious harvest for themselves? The remained flowering buds in his shroud were covered with trichomes, meaning that the plants were harvested at the right time. This makes researchers suggesting both a medical and psychoactive purpose for this plant in Turpan. This is not hard to believe since a few years ago a nice stash of trimmed female cannabis flowers was found in a nearby ancient cemetery.


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Adam Parsons
Adam Parsons
Professional cannabis journalist, copywriter, and author Adam Parsons is a long-time staff member of Zamnesia. Tasked with covering a wide range of topics from CBD to psychedelics and everything in between, Adam creates blog posts, guides, and explores an ever-growing range of products.
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