Skip to comments.Mystery of the Cocaine Mummies
Posted on 03/25/2005 8:28:56 PM PST by SunkenCiv
For in Manchester, the mummies under the care of Rosalie David, the Egyptologist [Keeper of Egyptology, Manchester Museum] once so sure that Balabanova had made a mistake, produced some odd results of their own... "We've received results back from the tests on our mummy tissue samples and two of the samples and the one hair sample both have evidence of nicotine in them. I'm really very surprised at this."
(Excerpt) Read more at druglibrary.org ...
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Marijuana and the Pygmies
Carl Sagan, The Dragons of Eden, Speculations on the Origin of Human Intelligence
p 191 footnote (pb edition 1978, copyright 1977)
"In defense of the Pygmies, perhaps I should note that a friend of mine who has spent time with them says that for such activities as the patient stalking and hunting of mammals and fish they prepare themselves through marijuana intoxication, which helps to make the long waits, boring to anyone further evolved than a Komodo dragon, at least moderately tolerable. Ganja is, he says, their only cultivated crop. It would be wryly interesting if in human history the cultivation of marijuana led generally to the invention of agriculture, and thereby to civilization. (The marijuana-intoxicated Pygmy, poised patiently for an hour with his fishing spear aloft, is earnestly burlesqued by the beer-sodden riflemen, protectively camouflaged in red plaid, who, stumbling through the nearby woods, terrorize American suburbs each Thanksgiving.)"
another, still the same source:
Toke Like an Egyptian
by William Jacobs
Commentary on the Cocaine Mummies
from Fortean Times Magazine
What's up with the "cocaine mummies"?
The Straight Dope by Cecil Adams
General interest ping
Was America a Phoenician Colony?Small amounts of nicotine are present in a wide variety of plants and foods, but the high concentrations sought by smokers can only be found in tobacco. Concentrations of nicotine in bone samples of modern smokers in nanograms/gram: China: 55; Germany: 65; Sudan: 45. Egyptian...The idea of a lost species of tobacco came to Balabanova because the concentrations in the bodies from Asia and Europe were similar to modern day smokers. But one thing had puzzled her. At 35 times the dose for smokers, the amounts of nicotine she had found in Egyptian mummies were potentially lethal. But first, Balabanova was baffled, but then she had a thought. The high doses of nicotine in Egyptian bodies could be explained if the tobaccoas well as being consumedhad also been used in mummification.
by Dr Michael Magee
updated Monday, November 8, 1999
So now we know how they were smuggling the drugs. . . :-)
I seem to remember that there are some species of tobacco plants that are from the NEar East. Latakia comes to mind as a prized variety that used to be advertised as part of the blend in Camels I believe.
And I think that was one of the reasons for the Egyptiam motif on the package as well as the Camel itself.
All varieties of tobacco were bred from American varieties, presumably since 1492, but hey... It's native to the Americas, as is the potato, tomato, pepper, datura, and probably the eggplant (although that could also be from Asia). As the critics of the data -- who reject a priori ancient transoceanic navigation -- point out, there are no representations of either tobacco or coca plants, or of unidentified plants.
Other tobacco relatives include the other nightshades ("solanum nigrum" is aka "deadly nightshade" or "black nightshade"), the Jerusalem cherry (decorative), chinese lantern, tomatillo, nantucket ground cherry, other husk tomatoes, and the "Love Apple", the tomato-like but poisonous ornamental plant that is the reason tomatoes were long thought to be poisonous. Datura is the "zombie cucumber" plant found in "Serpent and the Rainbow". Oleander and poinsetta are also relatives, as is (obviously) nicotiana, hmm, petunias I think, some others. Most of these (but perhaps not quite all) are American natives.
See Louise Riotte's "Carrots Love Tomatoes", it's a great source of info, although it's primarily for gardeners.
She was really looking for the Hardy Boys.
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Ancient Navigators Could Have Measured Longitude -- in Egypt in 232 B.C. !
21st Century: Science and Technology Magazine | Fall 2001 | Rick Sanders
Posted on 01/12/2003 11:19:24 AM PST by ex-Texan
never did post this still active link:
The Mystery of the Cocaine Mummies
Transcript of the video
CENSING THE GOD: PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES IN ANCIENT EGYPT
by Michael Carmichael
In 1982, J. R. Steffan reported that he had found a single specimen of Lasioderma serricorne (commonly called the tobacco beetle) in the mummy of Ramses II. More turned up in Egypt (one was found in Tut's tomb), and in 2000 Eva Panagiotakopulu reported a specimen found on Santorini.
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