Psychoactive Substances in Prehistoric Times: Examining the Archaeological Evidence

  title={Psychoactive Substances in Prehistoric Times: Examining the Archaeological Evidence},
  author={Elisa Guerra-Doce},
  journal={Time and Mind},
  pages={112 - 91}
The relationship between humans and psychoactive substances can be traced back over millennia. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the consumption of drug plants and fermented beverages in prehistoric times by drawing upon some archaeological examples worldwide that illustrate the early use of these substances. The archaeological evidence of psychoactive substances is assessed in the light of some indicators that should be taken into consideration when examining this type of… 

Amazonian Medicine and the Psychedelic Revival: Considering the “Dieta”

It is argued that the framework is not sufficiently broad for understanding diets, and thus the investigation aimed to expand the conceptual field of Amazonian medicine, particularly in the context of a renewed psychedelic science and its theoretical concepts.

Paleomedicine and the Evolutionary Context of Medicinal Plant Use

  • K. Hardy
  • Psychology
    Revista brasileira de farmacognosia : orgao oficial da Sociedade Brasileira de Farmacognosia
  • 2020
Modern human need for medicines is so extensive that it is thought to be a deep evolutionary behavior. There is abundant evidence from our Paleolithic and later prehistoric past, of survival after

From horticulture to psychonautics: an analysis of online communities discussing and trading plants with psychotropic properties

This study is a spinoff of the cross-disciplinary project “FloraGuard: Tackling the Illegal Trade in Endangered Plants”, and focuses on the analysis of online forums dedicated to the discussion and

Towards an Archaeology of Pain? Assessing the Evidence from Later Prehistoric Bog Bodies

This paper highlights the potential for what could be termed an ‘archaeology of pain’. It reflects on the potential significance and role of the infliction, suffering, endurance and observation of

The Archaeology of Food

The Archaeology of Food explains how archaeologists reconstruct what people ate, and how such reconstructions reveal ancient political struggles, religious practices, ethnic identities, gender norms,

The Purposeful Pain of Drug Addiction: A Biocultural Approach

In the United States, there are two familiar ways to explain addiction: a moral failing or a brain disease. Anthropologists have often recreated these familiar explanations. On the cultural side,

Psychedelic-Assisted Group Therapy: A Systematic Review

A systematic review of the published literature in English and Spanish on psychedelic-assisted group therapies aims to stimulate hypotheses to be tested in future research on LSD-assisted psychotherapy, group process, and interpersonal functioning.

Clinical applications of hallucinogens: A review.

This review will present data on several classes of hallucinogens with a particular focus on psychedelics, entactogens, and dissociatives, for which clinical utility has been most extensively documented, with important ramifications for their potential therapeutic value.

Current perspectives on psychedelic therapy: use of serotonergic hallucinogens in clinical interventions

An overview of past and present models of psychedelic therapy is provided, and important considerations for future interventions incorporating the use of psychedelics in research and clinical practice are discussed.



Essential Substances: A Cultural History of Intoxicants in Society

A cross-cultural history of how humanity's use of intoxicants has affected societies across the centuries and how attitudes towards these substances have been shaped. Fly agaric mushrooms used by

The Origins of Inebriation: Archaeological Evidence of the Consumption of Fermented Beverages and Drugs in Prehistoric Eurasia

The earliest testimonies of the use of alcohol and drugs suggest that inebriation is a long-established habit, the origins of which can be traced back to prehistory. Traces highly suggestive of


CONSTANTINO MANUEL TORRES - Archaeological evidence for the antiquity of psychoactive plant use in the Central Andes. This work presents an evaluation of the evidence for the antiquity of

Rameses II and the tobacco beetle

The use of a wide range of narcotic drugs in antiquity has been widely documented, although archaeologists have sometimes been too credulous of apparently scientific data, and have failed to

Alcohol: Anthropological/Archaeological Perspectives

AbstractAlcohol is a special form of embodied material culture and the most widely used psychoactive agent in the world. It has been a fundamentally important social, economic, political, and

The use of henbane (Hyoscyamus niger L.) as a hallucinogen at Neolithic ‘ritual’ sites: a re-evaluation

Were drugs in use in prehistory? Recent claims for the use of hallucinogenic substances have been made, and caused a stir. However, new work on a Scottish Neolithic ceremonial site suggests

Archaeological evidence for the tradition of psychoactive plant use In the old world

The hypothesis presented suggests that humans have a very ancient tra-dition involving the use of mind-altering agents in traditionalsocieties to produce profound, more or less spir-itual and cultural understanding.

Drinking: Anthropological Approaches

Over the last two decades quite a few studies have been devoted to drinking. Most of these were concerned with alcohol and written by social anthropologists. This book presents multidisciplinary

The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications

This book discusses the archaeology of Entheogenic Mushroom Cults, the use of Psychoactive Plants, and Shamanic Consciousness as factors in the development of culture.

Evidence of early tobacco in Northeastern North America