Cannabis in Eurasia: origin of human use and Bronze Age trans-continental connections

  title={Cannabis in Eurasia: origin of human use and Bronze Age trans-continental connections},
  author={T. Long and M. Wagner and D. Demske and C. Leipe and P. Tarasov},
  journal={Vegetation History and Archaeobotany},
A systematic review of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental records of cannabis (fibres, pollen, achenes and imprints of achenes) reveals its complex history in Eurasia. A multiregional origin of human use of the plant is proposed, considering the more or less contemporaneous appearance of cannabis records in two distal parts (Europe and East Asia) of the continent. A marked increase in cannabis achene records from East Asia between ca. 5,000 and 4,000 cal bp might be associated with the… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

Cannabis utilization and diffusion patterns in prehistoric Europe: a critical analysis of archaeological evidence
Archaeological evidence of Cannabis sativa is comprised of textiles, cordage, fibre and seeds, or pottery impressions of those materials, as well as pseudoliths and phytoliths (pollen is notExpand
Tracing population movements in ancient East Asia through the linguistics and archaeology of textile production
Abstract Abstract Archaeolinguistics, a field which combines language reconstruction and archaeology as a source of information on human prehistory, has much to offer to deepen our understanding ofExpand
Crops along the trade routes? Archaeobotany of the Bronze Age in the region of South Bohemia (Czech Republic) in context with longer distance trade and exchange networks
The number of species of crop plants in Central Europe increased constantly during the Bronze Age. The structure of the composition of cultivated plants was probably connected to the culturalExpand
Cannabis is indigenous to Europe and cultivation began during the Copper or Bronze age: a probabilistic synthesis of fossil pollen studies
Examining fossil pollen studies showed C/H pollen consistent with wild-type C. sativa in steppe and dry tundra landscapes throughout Europe during the early Holocene, Late Glacial, and previous glaciations. Expand
The origins of cannabis smoking: Chemical residue evidence from the first millennium BCE in the Pamirs
Phytochemical analysis indicates that cannabis plants were burned in wooden braziers during mortuary ceremonies at the Jirzankal Cemetery (ca. 500 BCE) in the eastern Pamirs region, suggesting cannabis was smoked as part of ritual and/or religious activities in western China by at least 2500 years ago and that the cannabis plants produced high levels of psychoactive compounds. Expand
Prehistoric trans-continental cultural exchange in the Hexi Corridor, northwest China
We report dozens of direct radiocarbon dates on charred grains from 22 archaeological sites of the Neolithic and Bronze Ages in the Hexi Corridor, northwest China, a key region for trans-EurasianExpand
Cannabis in Asia: its center of origin and early cultivation, based on a synthesis of subfossil pollen and archaeobotanical studies
Biogeographers assign the Cannabis centre of origin to “Central Asia”, mostly based on wild-type plant distribution data. We sought greater precision by adding new data: 155 fossil pollen studiesExpand
Latitudinal Adaptation and Genetic Insights Into the Origins of Cannabis sativa L.
Molecular evidence reveals for the first time that the low latitude haplogroup (Haplogroup L) is the earliest divergent lineage, implying that Cannabis is probably originated in low latitude region. Expand
Refined chronology of prehistoric cultures and its implication for re-evaluating human-environment relations in the Hexi Corridor, northwest China
The reconstruction of high-resolution chronologies for prehistoric cultures is a prerequisite for understanding the history of human evolution and its relationship with environmental change, and isExpand
Human settlement and wood utilization along the mainstream of Heihe River basin, northwest China in historical period
Abstract In recent years, archaeologists have studied how ancient humans have shaped, and been shaped by, their surrounding environments in an effort to provide valuable insight into the patterns ofExpand


Tracing the Origin of the East-West Population Admixture in the Altai Region (Central Asia)
Support is presented to the hypothesis that the gene pool of Iron Age inhabitants of Mongolian Altai was similar to that of western Iron Age Altaians (Russia and Kazakhstan), which would provide support for a demographic expansion of local people of Altai instead of westward or eastward migratory events, as the demographic event behind the high population genetic admixture and diversity in Central Asia. Expand
An archaeological and historical account of cannabis in China
Although Cannabis is generally believed to be of Asiatic origin, within this vast geographical area, there is no general agreement as to where the domestication really came about. Alphonse deExpand
Population genomics of Bronze Age Eurasia
It is shown that the Bronze Age was a highly dynamic period involving large-scale population migrations and replacements, responsible for shaping major parts of present-day demographic structure in both Europe and Asia. Expand
Phytochemical and genetic analyses of ancient cannabis from Central Asia
These investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent, and contribute to the medical and archaeological record of this pre-Silk Road culture. Expand
The long history of Cannabis and its cultivation by the Romans in central Italy, shown by pollen records from Lago Albano and Lago di Nemi
Abstract. The cores from the Albano and Nemi lakes, near Rome, were studied within the European Union funded PALICLAS project and provided high resolution records of the Late-glacial and Holocene.Expand
The origin and use of cannabis in eastern asia linguistic-cultural implications
Cannabis sativa is one of man's oldest cultivated plants. Botanically it is distinct from all other plants and readily recognized. Yet among individual plants it is extremely variable. It now growsExpand
New evidence of possible crop introduction to north-eastern Europe during the Stone Age
Long term (from the Mesolithic to the Bronze Age) habitation of the Akali settlement on a clearly defined bog-island in East Estonia is used as an example of transitional development from aExpand
Patterns of pastoralism in later Bronze Age Kazakhstan: new evidence from faunal and lipid residue analyses
Abstract Current research themes relating to prehistoric Central Asian pastoralism are discussed, and the Neolithic to Bronze archaeological sequence in Kazakhstan is briefly outlined. The results ofExpand
Pollen-analytic evidence for the cultivation of Cannabis in England
Abstract A detailed pollen diagram from an East Anglian Lake, Old Buckenham Mere, registers vegetational changes from Late Glacial time to the present. When a chronology is projected upon it thisExpand
Evidence that a West-East admixed population lived in the Tarim Basin as early as the early Bronze Age
It is demonstrated that the Xiaohe people were an admixture from populations originating from both the West and the East, implying that the Tarim Basin had been occupied by an admixed population since the early Bronze Age, which is the earliest genetic evidence of an admixtures population settled in theTarim Basin. Expand