According to an article in the Siberian Times, a mummy frozen in the ice for 2,500 years used medical marijuana to treat her breast cancer. They’re calling her the Ukok Princess, though she might not have been a princess at all, but a shaman. The discovery is bringing new insight into the ancient Pazyryk culture.
The archeologists used the clues they found to paint a full picture of the months leading up to her death. She suffered from breast cancer, and instead of her kinsman leaving her to die, they took her to the winter camp with them. Her injuries indicate that she likely fell off a horse on that trip. When she died, they waited a few months to bury her in June, and she wasn’t buried with her family, as was common, but alone on a mound. Because she was buried alongside three horses instead of the one, and that she wasn’t left to die in the winter months, she must have occupied a special place in society, but different from royalty.
Scientists say she likely died from breast cancer, and used medical marijuana to cope with the symptoms.
Scientist Dr. Polosmak said “probably for this sick woman, sniffing cannabis was a forced necessity, and she was often in altered state of mind. We can suggest that through her could speak the ancestral spirits and gods. Her ecstatic visions in all likelihood allowed her to be considered as some chosen being, necessary and crucial for the benefit of society. She can be seen as the darling of spirits and cherished until her last breath,” says Dr. Polosmak.
Scientists theorize that a sick or elderly person using marijuana to cope with pain would become a medium to communicate with the nether world, due to their altered states of consciousness.
Locals aren’t happy with her unearthing. In the Altai Mountains she’s known as Oochy-Bala and they say her presence was to “bar the entrance to the kingdom of the dead”. With the burial chamber empty, “the entrance remains open.” The elders there voted to put Oochy-Bala back “to stop her anger which causes floods and earthquakes.”
“Today, we honour the sacred beliefs of our ancestors like three millennia ago,” said an elder. “We have been burying people according to Scythian traditions. We want respect for our traditions.”
According to an ancient text by the Greek historian Herodotus, cannabis was part of Scythian culture and was used medicinally and for burial rites, but they didn’t smoke it. They vaporized flower tops over read hot stones in a small tent, the ancient version of doing a dab
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