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From: (alley cat)
Newsgroups: alt.drugs,talk.politics.drugs
Subject: Evidence found of ancient marijuana use
Date: 5 Aug 1993 13:02:13 -0400
Message-ID: <23reel$>

Albany (NY) Times Union, 20 May 1993
(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

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