In Israel, archaeologists conducted an analysis of previously unidentified material discovered in the temple of VIII century BC, and found traces of use as a ritual incense and cannabis.
As reported Phys.org the ancient temple was discovered in the desert in southern Israel. It is located near the city of Arad, described in the Bible, in the valley of Beersheba.
Previously, there have been excavated the ruins of the fortress, which guarded the borders of the biblical state. The earliest of them date from IX century BC, the most recent dated to the beginning of the VI century BC.
In this fortress was a Church, which is quite well preserved. According to scientists, it was built around 750-715 years BC. Well preserved and two altars of the iron age.
They were made of limestone. The dimensions of the altars were quite small. Thus, the height of the smaller of them was 40 inches, and bigger – half a meter. They probably played an important role in the cult practices of the time.
On the surfaces of the altars remained a black dried material, which was carefully studied in the laboratory. For several years scientists could not determine its composition. Unidentified material remained until recently.
New methods have allowed scientists to put forward the assumption about its composition. So, they believe that this material was a mixture. In particular, on the surface of the smaller of the two altars were found the remains of the substance, composed of wild hemp and dung.
the Latter, according to scientists, was used to share that ritual mixture is best heated and was Cadel without an open flame. The same principle was made the mixture, the remains of which are found on the great altar. Only in this case is cannabis incense was used.
These findings, the researchers called unique because nothing like earlier archaeologists in these places is not found. According to the authors, cannabis is not inadvertently used in the cult practice. Probably the priests deliberately produced mixture to produce a psychoactive effect on the laity.
According to the lead author of the work of Eran Arieh of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, archaeologists for the first time received evidence of the use of cannabis in the temples of the ancient Near East.
as for the incense, the scientists suggest that it was imported from Arabia. His presence on the altar of the temple in Arad suggests that the Jew is actively traded with Arabia.