Let’s say it’s 2,200 years ago. Let’s say you’re royalty. You can do whatever you want, and you can surround yourself with anything that’s available. You’d do what any king and queen of prehistoric Siberia would do. You’d get a tattoo. You’d have a nice carpet—which would someday be known as the oldest surviving rug known to science.
And you’d smoke weed.
What else is there to do in the remote Altai Mountains—aside from stay Pazyryk and die?
A pair of remarkably well-preserved mummified bodies belonging to two members of the Pazyryk culture have lain in a museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, since their discovery in an ice cave during the Soviet era. As the Daily Mail is reporting, the bodies are now being examined, scanned and tested by a gang of scientists with the hopes of figuring out what they looked like, how they died and other vitally important details. Like their weed habits!
The mummies are already well-known for elaborate tattoos—including sleeves of birds, tigers, snow leopards, horses and other animals on the arms and hands, and a tiger draped over one shoulder—that would let the Pazyryks enter a Brooklyn bar without feeling out of place. They also enjoyed rugs that were already vintage classics—woven before their deaths by at least 200 years—that feature scenes of horses of Pazyryk life.
Which included, at least on some level, cannabis.
Marijuana that scientists believe was clearly intended for smoking has been discovered at other ancient tombs in China. The Pazyryks are related to the Scythians who lived near ancient Greece—and the Scythians were famous for a cleansing ritual that involved burning of cannabis in an enclosed space, a practice modern-day writers have compared to hotboxing.
According to the Mail, there’s evidence that when the royal tattooed pair were embalmed and buried—with internal organs removed via surgical procedures, similar to mummies in ancient Egypt—cannabis was also burned in their tomb.
Also in the massive tomb, which was encased by ice until its discovery by Stalin-era scientists: An ancient chariot with large wheels (at least it wasn’t a single-speed bicycle). Everything else was stolen by grave robbers before the burial mound became icebound.
But did they use cannabis themselves? If answers to that ever come, they’ll have to wait for results of the physical examinations underway. Obviously, this is something humanity needs to know as soon as possible.