Erowid
 
 
Plants - Drugs Mind - Spirit Freedom - Law Arts - Culture Library  
Review Erowid at GreatNonprofits.org
Help us reach 1,250 reviews! And spread the word that accurate info about psychedelics and other drugs improves health, culture, and policies.
Evidence Found of Ancient Marijuana Use
May 20, 1993
Albany (NY) Times Union
(attributed to Newsday)

The first physical evidence that marijuana was used as a medicine in the ancient Mideast was reported Wednesday by Israeli scientists who found residue of the drug with the skeleton of a girl who apparently died in childbirth 1,600 years ago.

The researchers said the marijuana probably was used by a mid-wife trying to speed the birth, as well as ease the pain.

Until now, the researchers wrote in a letter to the journal Nature, "physical evidence of cannabis (marijuana) use in the ancient Middle East has not yet been obtained."

The seven researchers -- from Hebrew University, the Israel Antiquities Authority and the National Police Headquarters forensic division -- said references to marijuana as a medicine are seen as far back as 1,600 B.C. in Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek and Roman writings. But physical evidence that the hemp weed, cannabis sativa, was used for that purpose has been missing.

The researchers' examination of an undisturbed family tomb near Jerusalem dating to the fourth century AD indicated the girl, about 14, died because her pelvis was too small to permit normal birth.