THE USE OF CANNABIS IN THE EARLY IRON AGE


Keywords: Scythians, cannabis, textile, medicine.

Abstract

In the article data on cannabis findings in the early Scythian sites are collected and ordered. Currently, there are several mutually complementary sources for studying the use of cannabis by the Scythians, These are written sources (Herodotus), as well as artifacts (incense burners) and paleoethnobotanical materials (cannabis seeds findings (Cannabis sativa L)). In recent years, archaeologists have new data obtained from chemical analyzes.

The findings of cannabis are few. Now we know only eight sites where they were found (fig. 1). Written sources indicate the use of hemp for making clothes. The finds of spindle-whorls as well as still single prints of fabrics on clay products confirm the existence of weaving (fig. 2). Hygienic use of cannabis is confirmed by written sources and casually by archeological ones. The use of cannabis for fumigation is confirmed by the findings of incense burners, as well as by chemical analyzes.

We believe that this does not exhaust the use of cannabis in the life of the Scythians. Archaeological and iconographic findings indicate a high level of medicine development including surgery among the Scythians. Taking this into account, we consider it possible to suggest that the Scythians also knew various methods of natural origin for the relief of pain. We do not exclude that they could also use cannabis for this purpose.

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Published
2019-12-25
How to Cite
GorbanenkoS. A. (2019). THE USE OF CANNABIS IN THE EARLY IRON AGE. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 33(4), 381-387. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2019.04.30