Scientists at Washington State University (WSU) analyzed the contents of 14 miniature Maya ceramic vessels to understand civilized drug use. The research team found traces of a “non-tobacco” plant called Mexican marigold. The container was originally buried for more than 1,000 years and also contained traces of dried and cured tobacco, tobacco and N. Rusta.
WSU said that researchers believe that marigold mixed with regular tobacco can make smoking “more pleasant.”
The study’s lead author, anthropology postdoc Mario Zimmermann (Mario Zimmermann) said that the study paved the way for future research on other types of spiritual and non-spiritual plants consumed by Maya civilization and other ancient societies.
Dr. Zimmerman said: “Although it has been established that tobacco is commonly used throughout the Americas before and after exposure, to a large extent no evidence of other plants used for medicinal or religious purposes has been found.
“The analytical methods developed in collaboration between the Department of Anthropology and the Institute of Biochemistry allow us to study drug use in the ancient world in an unprecedented way.
“When you find something very interesting (such as a complete container), it will give you a sense of joy.
“Usually, if you find jade beads, you will be lucky. There are literally thousands of pottery, but complete vessels are very few and offer a lot of interesting research potential.”
Archaeologists first discovered these ships in 2012 during excavations on the outskirts of Mérida, Mexico.
However, due to advances in this field, the team is now able to detect the interior more accurately.
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Now, researchers have analyzed metabolomics-small molecules found in cells, biological fluids, tissues, or organisms-to discover plants.
Previously, researchers could only determine ancient plans based on the detection of a limited number of biomarkers (such as nicotine, amantadine, cotinine, and caffeine).
David Gang, a professor at the WSU Institute of Biochemistry and a co-author of the study, said: “The problem with this is that although there are biomarkers like nicotine that indicate smoking, it doesn’t tell you anything else. Was consumed or Stored in the artifact.
“Our method not only tells you, yes, you found the plant you are interested in, but also tells you what else you have consumed.”
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The team is currently negotiating with several agencies in Mexico because they hope to explore more areas to gain a deeper understanding of Mayan drug use.
WSU said that another project they are currently working on is to study the organic residues preserved in the dental plaque of ancient human remains.
Shannon Tushingham, professor of anthropology at WSU and co-author of the study, said: “We are expanding the frontiers of archaeology so that we can better investigate the deep relationship between people and a variety of psychoactive plants. Be (and continue) be Consumed by humans all over the world.
“There are many ways people manage, use, manipulate, and prepare native plants and plant mixtures, and archaeologists are just beginning to explore the age of these practices.”