Recently, archaeologists made an exciting discovery in a rock shelter in Bolivia. The space, which was used around 1,000 years ago, also contained a collection of drug paraphernalia. What’s more, the objects also contained traces of psychoactive plants. Moreover, there was a pouch crafted from fox snouts that most likely contained leaves and seeds.
What Are the Exact Objects?
Just in case you were wondering what exactly were the cavemen using to get high, just know that there were many different items discovered by the archaeologists that took care of this. Besides the pouch we mentioned before, there were also a long leather bag, a sniffing tube, some spatulas made of llama bones, a headband, as well as pieces of dried leaves. Moreover, the sniffing tube and the tablets found there contain some exciting carvings of what seems to be human figures.
But What Did Ancient Humans Use to Get High?
The next logical question is what drugs exactly did people then use to get high. Were the drugs the same as those we use nowadays? Melanie Miller, who works at the University of Otago, New Zealand, analyzed the chemical compounds found in the paraphernalia. It seems there are five main components: DMT, BZE (benzoylecgonine), harmine, bufotenine, and cocaine.
However, unlike our days, it seems that all this paraphernalia belonged to some sort of shaman. Considering the objects and the plants there, it seems he/she would have had extensive knowledge on how to use them and what are their effects.
Finally, it would be more interesting to find out extra info about the role of drugs in that time and how they evolved throughout all the centuries. It remains to be seen what other fascinating discoveries will the archaeologists make and what corners of the ancient world will be enlightened by them.
Dee Mongo is a graduate of UFT. She’s based in Toronto and has written for Maclean’s, Motherboard, the National Post, and the Huffington Post. In her spare time, she plays AC/DC on the ukulele and does psychic readings for B-grade celebrities. Dee is our tech/finance correspondent.