Study Says People Used Drugs in Spain 3,000 Years Ago

Sat Apr 08 2023
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SPAIN: New research has found that people in Spain were getting high on hallucinogenic drugs around 3,000 years ago.

Scientists claim that hair from a burial site in Menorca shows that ancient human civilizations used drugs derived from bushes and plants. It is the oldest direct evidence of people taking hallucinogenic drugs in Europe, the BBC said, quoting the study.

The researcher found that they would have induced hallucinations and delirium. The findings published in the journal Scientific Reports revealed signs of human activity at the Es Càrritx cave on the southwestern side of Menorca.

The cave has more than 200 human graves and is believed to have served as a ritual and funerary site for about 600 years until 800 BCE.

Researchers discovered that powerful chemicals might have been used in the rituals performed in the cave. Shamans may have been involved in this “who could manage the side-effects of the plant drugs.”

Three psychotropic compounds were found when the red dye used in the ancient rituals—which might have been applied by more than one person—was examined.

Researchers also discovered ephedrine, which increases energy and alertness, and the hallucinogen’s atropine and scopolamine.

According to the researcher, jars with spiral carvings on their lids were discovered in the cave, according to researchers. According to the study, some academics have hypothesized that this is an example of a person’s “altered states of consciousness” using hallucinogens.

Indirect evidence, such as portraying narcotic plants in art, had previously been used to support claims of prehistoric drug use in Europe.

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