Did historical Vikings smoke pot in North America?

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Did ancient Vikings smoke pot in North America?

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Researchers have found traces of hashish on the solely recognized Viking settlement on the North America mainland, elevating the chance that Norsemen had been utilizing the plant for medicinal or leisure functions.

In August 2018, archaeologists at L’Anse aux Meadows in northern Newfoundland uncovered hashish pollen, together with walnut pollen and stays of two non-indigenous beetles species—Simplocaria metallica, from Greenland, and Acidota quadrata, from the Arctic.

In addition they discovered charcoal, caribou dung and woodworking particles.

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Stays of Viking settlements had been first found at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland in 1960.
Getty Photographs

L’Anse aux Meadows was settled someday round 910 A.D. and, till now, scientists believed it was solely briefly occupied. However based on a report printed in Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences, the ecofacts discovered at a peat lavatory close by radiocarbon date to the 12th or 13th century.

“Because the horizon is buried inside a peatland, the preservation of organic stays is great,” lead writer Paul Ledger informed Ars Technica. “This may increasingly afford us the chance to look at points of pre-contact lifeways that aren’t current in different depositional environments.”

The layer from the peat lavatory is just like different “cultural layers from throughout the Norse North Atlantic,” Ledger wrote. “This doesn’t indicate a steady occupation,” he admits. It may imply L’Anse aux Meadows was deserted and re-inhabited by the Vikings at numerous factors.

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Historic houses of Viking settlers in L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada.
Getty Photographs

The findings may shed new mild on the extent of contact between Viking and Native People earlier than European colonization: In line with Ledger, a postdoctoral fellow at Memorial College of Newfoundland, Vikings probably traded with tribes up and down the East Coast, buying butternut squash, wild grapes and, sure, hashish.

The multipurpose plant is understood to have been cultivated by Vikings in Norway: Hashish seeds had been even discovered with the stays of an aged girl with most cancers in Tønsberg, based on Historic Origins, which stories “it’s not unlikely that the seeds had been used as painkillers.”

However, Ledger admits, the pollen at L’Anse aux Meadows may have been carried by the air or delivered to the location by members of the native Beothuk or Dorset tribes. And if the Norse did certainly use hashish in Newfoundland, it could have been to make rope or clothes. “The outcomes offered right here pose extra questions than solutions,” Ledger wrote. He plans to return to the lavatory to do extra intensive analysis.

Stays of Norse buildings had been first found at L’Anse aux Meadows within the 1960s.

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