New Historian

Psychedelic Culture Existed Around 500 A.D.

The Andes Mountains

<![CDATA[Contrary to what people might believe, hippy culture actually dates back to almost 500 A.D. Proof that a psychedelic culture existed and flourished centuries ago in the south-central Andes region can be found in the hippy styled headbands, sophisticated drugs, and other paraphernalia revealed in a report published in the Antiquity Journal. What's more, this culture is believed to have lasted for almost 600 years. According to the article, the items described above help shed light on the beliefs and lifestyles of the people of a native South American city known as Tiwanuku, which was located close to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. Alongside the objects, "snuffing" tablets, snuffing tubes, multicoloured textile headbands and spatulas have also been discovered within the area. These objects offer definitive proof of the use of psychoactive substances in the early ages. According to Author Juan Albarracin-Jordan, the snuffing tablets were mostly used by ritual specialists like shamans. Albarracin-Jordan also suggests that certain psychotropic substances extracted from plants that grew in the region were mixed with the tablets, and inhalation tubes were used to introduce these substances into the body. Juan analyzed the items that were uncovered at the excavation site known as Cueva del Chileno, along with his colleagues Melanie Miller and Jose Capriles. They also report that they found certain drinking cups known as "kerus". Kerus were used to drink chicha, an alcohol like brew which was made by fermenting corn. Experts believe that some of the most famous monoliths in the region, such as the world famous Bennett monolith, actually show people holding a keru in their left hand while snuffing tablets with their right. It is evidently clear from the archaeological and ethnographic evidence that has been uncovered, that people who partook in these practices would have been extremely high. It seems that their altered state of mind was acceptable in Tiwanuku society, because it was believed to have had spiritual significance. Juan states that users of these psychoactive substances acted as mediators between the natural and the supernatural environment. They were believed to be the brokers of conflicts between the dead and the living. Reports also suggest that people came to followers of these practices for treatment, and were offered stimulants and tobacco to treat their health. Since the Tiwanaku people wore hides and masks which depicted predators, the drugs were probably taken during rituals which involved these species. This was concluded from the evidence of human as well as animal sacrifice found at the Cueva del Chileno site. ]]>

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