Marijuana Buds" by Efiks / CC BY-SA 4.0

Israeli scientists dig up cannabis traces in ancient temple

Jun 2, 2020

By Ilan Ben Zion

Israeli archaeologists say they’ve found cannabis residue on artifacts from an ancient temple in southern Israel — providing the first evidence of the use of hallucinogenics in the ancient Jewish religion.

In a research paper, the authors say the discovery from an 8th-century B.C. shrine at Tel Arad offers the first proof for “the use of mind-altering substances as part of cultic rituals in Judah,” including the first Jewish Temple that stood in Jerusalem at the same time.

Archaeological excavations at Tel Arad, located around 35 miles (60 kilometers) south of Jerusalem, in the 1960s discovered a stronghold belonging to the ancient kingdom of Judah, and at its core a small shrine bearing striking similarities to the biblical Temple in Jerusalem.

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5 comments on “Israeli scientists dig up cannabis traces in ancient temple

  • 1
    Cairsley says:

    Pardon me if this is a silly question, but is cannabis halucinogenic or mind-altering, as the author of the article plainly assumes? I am inclined to think the author has overstated the effects of cannabis.

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  • overstating the effects of cannabis has a  long history

    maybe even as long as 2800 years ago!

    ecstatic union with god has always been big

    good book on this and similar stoner histories

    uncorking the past

    traces like this found in persian vats from about 7000 yrs ago

    (as far as i remember without rereading)

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  • and some indications of opium use elsewhere in the region, suggests that for the ancient Israelites, it was “a desirable thing to get into ecstasy and connect with God.”

    If someone wants to see God and talk to Jesus then opium and ecstasy are definitely the drugs of choice. (disclaimer: This is not a recommendation) Smoking pot just won’t get you there unless it’s laced with PCP, which, I don’t recommend.

    Party on!


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  • I was assured the god-seeing stuff was ‘shrooms.

    My pathetic paranoia resulting from the few mandatory hippie medications I felt obliged to take, makes me think this could be worse. I would undoubtedly, having taken them, spend my time berating the incompetent, immoral fuckwit. I may be smitten with some serious paranoia after that.

    Still…worth it.

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  • Leave opium out of it. Opioids produce euphoria, but are neither dissociative or hallucinogenic.

    Highly addictive, though.

    If the cannabis is in any way related to the writings of Judaism, I would have expected a far more chilled out set of texts – but instead we get child-murder. Maybe the potheads were responsible for the more dreary books of the Old Testament.

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