We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience, read our Cookie Policy

Advertisement
Corporate Advert

Home > News > Science & Health

Cannabis Was Burned During Worship by Ancient Israelites, Study Finds

May 29, 2020

Cannabis Was Burned During Worship by Ancient Israelites, Study Finds

The shrine, as reconstructed in the Israel Museum (Image credit: Collection of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

Worshippers in ancient Israel burned cannabis during their religious rituals, an archaeological study has found.

After analysing two altars discovered at the entrance to a shrine at Tel Arad in the Beer-sheba Valley, Israel, researchers found remains of cannabis and frankincense.

The researchers believe these substances date back more than 2,700 years and were burned in order to induce a high among worshippers.


Back in the old days

Published in the journal Tel Aviv, the study provides some of the first evidence of psychotropic drugs being used in early Jewish worship.

“This is the first time that cannabis has been identified in the Ancient Near East,” Eran Arie, a curator at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the study’s lead author, said in a statement.

“Its use in the shrine must have played a central role in the cultic rituals performed there.”

Arie and his colleagues believe the cannabis was likely brought from afar and mixed with animal dung to help it burn.

The larger altar found in the temple contained traces of resin of Boswellia trees, commonly known as frankincense. This was mixed with animal fat to promote evaporation.

Thanks in part to the dry climate, the remains of these burnt offerings were preserved on top of both altars.

 

Like what you just read? You can find similar content on the topic tag shown below.

Science & Health

Stay connected with the latest news in cannabis extraction, science and testing

Get the latest news with the FREE weekly Analytical Cannabis newsletter

Comments
Advertisement