In a vast and ancient burial site in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia, archaeologists have discovered what appear to be 2,400-year-old solid gold ‘bongs’. These ornate devices are believed to have belonged to the Scythians, an ancient and little-understood Iranic people that ruled the vast areas of Eurasia between 9th century BC and 4th century AD.
The ancient apparatuses were uncovered during a dig to lay down new power lines along with over seven pounds of other gold items, including two neck rings, a finger ring, and a gold bracelet. The treasures were buried within a chamber lined with stone and concealed by a thick layer clay.
After an analysis of the sticky black residue found within the golden vessels, it was revealed that these devices were used for the burning and smoke delivery of a concoction made from cannabis and opium. This brings clarity to an age-old quote in the ancient writings of Greek historian Herodotus who said that, “Scythians used a plant to produce smoke that no Grecian vapour-bath can surpass which made them shout aloud.”
It has been said for centuries that the Scythians were known to have smoked, or drank in the form of a brew, a mysterious and powerful plant mixture to achieve an altered state of consciousness, with which they would charge into battle. Experts hope that further examination of the detailed depictions of humans and animals adorning the vessels will piece together some of the mysterious history behind the Scythians and their familiarity with altered states of consciousness.