The STONED Age! Cannabis was first used around 11,000 years ago in Europe and Asia
Daily Mail-Fiona Macre-7/13/16
Prehistoric humans in Europe and Asia first starting using the drug
It took another 6,000 years for the first dope dealers to emerge
While the plant’s psychoactive properties are likely to have made it popular, it could also have been a source of food, medicine or fibres
We’ve all heard of the Stone Age – but how about the Stoned Age?
Scientists say cannabis was first used around 11,000 years ago, with prehistoric humans in Europe and Asia both starting to experiment with the drug.
However, it took another 6,000 years for the first dope dealers to emerge.
It is often assumed that cannabis was first used, and possibly domesticated, somewhere in China or Central Asia.
However, a review of research papers has revealed tell tale signs of cannabis use, including pollen, fruit and fibres, in Japan and Eastern Europe at almost exactly the same time, between 11,500 and 10,200 years ago.
While the plant’s psychoactive properties are likely to have made it popular, it could also have been a source of food, medicine or fibres for textiles, this week’s New Scientist magazine reports.
The research, from the Free University of Berlin, suggests use intensified about 5,000 years ago, at the start of the Bronze Age.
Then, the Yamnaya, nomadic herders form the steppes of today’s Russia mastered horse-riding, allowing them to cover huge distances and forge transcontinental trade networks.
Cannabis is likely to have been a high-value commodity, making it a ‘cash crop before cash’, says researcher Tengwen Long.
David Anthony, a US archaeologist, said the Yamnaya may well have indulged themselves – but only during feasts and rituals.