Cannabis in Archaic Europe

The discovery of hemp remains in a funerary urn of Wilmrdorf (Brandenburg, Germany), contained in a tomb of the 5th century BC and brought to light by the archaeologist Herman Busse in 1896, testifies  the existence of cannabis in northern Europe since prehistoric  times, according to what Busse himself claimed in the report presented to the Berlin Society of Anthropology, Ethnology and Prehistory on May 15, 1897. Subsequent examinations have excluded the hypothesis put forward by Virchow that the fragments of hemp were introduced into the urn in more recent times.

Two of the most ancient European cultures in which cannabis was smoked were that of the Celts, who inhabited present-day France and part of the British archipelago, and that of the Picts, which flourished in the northern part of Great Britain, roughly corresponding to Scotland.

The best Celtic art products are directly derived from the contact with the refined Scythian art. Here is the description of some Celtic gold jewelry surfaced during excavations in the Lake Lucerne area: “… the necklaces are even richer and more refined examples of that fantastic Celtic decoration in which each motif flows into another, like in a dream sequence that closely resembles the art of the steppes, usually called ‘Scythian’. The modern term ‘psychedelic’ could rightly be applied to this art, since its forms derive directly or remotely from the fantasies of those who used to use drugs “.

The areas of the world where archaeological research has discovered the largest number of prehistoric pipes and pipettes are Ireland and Scotland. According to an Irish archaeologist, “in Ireland, smoking is far older than the introduction of tobacco in Europe. In our Irish burial mounds, sepulchral monuments of the most remote antiquity, bronze pipes are frequently found “

The most likely authors of these pipes seem to be smoking cannabis, artists who gave life to the fabulous Scythian-Celtic  art. The fact that even the pipes are usually found in the tombs indicates that even the ancient Irish observed the custom, common to the Shiites and the American Mound Builders, to leave the personal effects to the victim and enjoy them in the afterlife.

The Picts, whose name means ‘painted’, were irreducible enemies of the Romans, to whom they did not want to be subdued or pay tributes, so that to defend themselves from the ‘incursions’ of the Picts and the Scots  the emperor Hadrian built the famous wall . According to the Anglo-Saxon chronicles the Picts had arrived in Scotland in the IVth Century B.C. from Scythia after first disembarking in Northern Ireland, and having no women asked them to the Scots, who supplied them on condition that the royal power would always be passed on females, a condition which the Picts scrupulously observed. The picts women, besides practicing matriarchy, were no less worthy warriors than men. They were bareheaded with flowing hair and painted their shoulders with griffin heads, and knees and thighs with heads of lions or other beasts; in the middle of their chest they had a kind of half moon with a star, around the nipples rays like those of the sun, and in the mid of all this a big luminous star on the belly, and flowers and geometric decorations everywhere. It is noteworthy that the Picts matriarchy confirms the link with the Semitic culture of which Benetowa speaks of, and that the Picts were never subjugated by the Romans, in fact the pipes from the Picts found in Scotland can be dated between the VIII and the X century A.D. 



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