400 BCE: Scythians smoke marijuana from golden bongs


400 BCE: Scythians smoke golden bong

400 BCE – Scythians smoke marijuana from golden bongs.

In 2013 archaeologists unearthed a pair of “bongs” made of pure gold that date back to 2,400 years ago.

The historic paraphernalia, which were once used by tribal chiefs to smoke cannabis and opium, were discovered in a massive grave mound in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia. Stavropol-based archaeologist Andrei Belinski found the ancient gold treasure when he was excavating a grave mound, called Sengileevskoe-2, to clear the way for a power-line project.

“It was definitely a surprise for us,” Belinski says. “We weren’t expecting to find anything like this.”

The items belonged to Scythians, which were a fierce group of nomads that once ruled over the grasslands of Eurasia.

To archaeologists, the information contained in the images on the bongs is exciting. From the warriors’ shoes to their haircuts, the depictions are amazingly lifelike. “I’ve never seen such a detailed representation of the clothing and weaponry of the Scythians,” says Belinski. “It’s so detailed you can see how the clothing was sewn.”

Belinski asked criminologists in nearby Stavropol to analyze a black residue inside the vessels. The results came back positive for opium and cannabis[1], confirming a practice first reported by the Greek historian Herodotus.


1. news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/150522-scythians-marijuana-bastard-wars-kurgan-archaeology.

Research and text © Hempshopper Amsterdam.