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The Scythians

The Scythians were nomadic people of Iranic origin (900 BC - 200 BC). Expert horsemen, they traveled along ancient trade routes, between Eastern Europe, India and China where they were in contact with the Subeixi tribes of Northwest China who cultivated cannabis for use in their religion, medicine, and funeral rites.

Cannabis was an integral part of the Scythian cult of the dead. After the death and burial of a king, the Scythians would inhale the fumes of hemp seeds and the resinous flowers thrown onto red-hot stones. The grave of a Scythian shaman contained a little under two pounds of processed and cut cannabis.

Shown: 4th - 3rd Century BC Belt plaque showing Scythians with horses under a tree.


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