The mummies were high

Pax Arcana

You guys remember that time we were all stoned to high heaven and we came up with that awesome idea that when one of us dies the others should pull his brains and organs out and put them in a jar and then wrap the body up in linens and canvas and amulets?


But it turns out, we weren’t the first to get high and talk about mummifying ourselves. According to this article in National Geographic, the pre-Inca Tiwanaku were way ahead of us. In fact, these mummies were high as shit:

The researchers discovered a compound called harmine in hairs from an adult male and a one-year-old baby, who both date to sometime between A.D. 800 and 1200. Harmine can help humans absorb hallucinogens and may be a powerful antidepressant.

“These individuals probably ingested harmine in therapeutic or medicinal practices, some maybe related to pregnancy and childbirth,” said study co-author Juan Pablo Ogalde, a chemical archaeologist at the University of Tarapacá in Arica, Chile.

The find was especially interesting for geneologists, because the mummy in question was clearly an ancestor of Zamfir, master of the pan flute:

X-rays showed that the adult male—who was buried with items of social prestige such as panpipes, a four-pointed hat, and a snuffing tray—had damage near the nose, perhaps from sniffing.

As for the baby, Ogalde speculated that the mother had consumed the drug and passed it on to her offspring during pregnancy or breast-feeding.

“The fact this mind-altering substance was found even with a one-year-old shows how much a part of their life it was,” said archaeologist Alexei Vranich of the University of California, Los Angeles, who did not participate in the study.

By the way, you guys, this totally reinforces my theory that you could totally make a sweet ass bong out of a pre-Inca mummy skull. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAHHHAHAHAHHAHAHH!!!!

I’m too old for this, aren’t I?

Drugs Found in Hair of Ancient Andean Mummies [National Geographic]
Ancient mummy hair suggests drug use [Boing Boing]



Filed under science

2 responses to “The mummies were high

  1. Didnt Methodman and Redman make a movie about this?

  2. I think so. Wasn’t it called “Dr. Blunt and Smokey Straight Trippin in the Andes”?

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