Every stoner knows their low point – the day you have to scrape your resin. That day came recently for the Prussian Heritage Foundation in Berlin, which discovered some 2,400-year-old weed-consuming devices in the burial mounds of ancient Scythians.
After the find in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia, the P.H.F. sent the devices off to a criminology lab, who scraped the resin, presumably smoked it, and then submitted it to lab tests which revealed it consisted of both cannabis and opium, which is pretty groovy.
News sites looking for some a click-batey headline have called the found pieces golden bongs. In fact, the gold cups look more like hookah bowls than anything else (judging from the few pictures on the National Geographic site), but the archaeologists in charge of the operation say they were actually used to brew drug-punch drinks.
So, these Scythians, a race of conquering nomads feared by the Greeks and Persians, drank po ‘ups made of opium and cannabis from solid golden goblets adorned with vivid etchings of violent murders, which makes them the most boss stoners in world history.
Besides their tendency to murder, the Scythians were rather hippy-ish, nomads without much in the way of material possessions. In fact, part of the reason this excavation is so significant is that the Scythians left no cities or settlements behind. The only evidence of their time on this spinning globe are some vague historical records and their rarely discovered burial mounds, also called kurgans, in which they buried their dead along with their few worldly goods.
In the case of the just-uncovered kurgans, the solid gold weed apparatuses were among the nicest Scythian possessions ever found. And the engravings on them are so rich that they’ve provided archaeologists with new knowledge about the Scythian culture, like their threads and hairdos. Typical hippies. They don’t even have a house, but they have really nice pieces.
“These are among the finest objects we know from the region,” archaeologist Anton Gass told National Geographic. “It’s a once-in-a-century discovery.”
The Scythians’ drug use has never been proven until now, though it has been rumored based on the writings of that historical historian they talk about in history class Herodotus. He wrote of the nomadic groups that they made smoke with an unspecified plant “that no Grecian vapour-bath can surpass … transported by the vapor, [they] shout aloud.”
So, next time you get “transported by the vapor,” just remember that in a couple thousand years some archaeologists might be in need of your resin, so don’t scrape it all.
All photos via National Geographic/ Andrei Balinskia