This story caught my eye on Christmas Day:
Chinese scientists have carefully stripped a 2,800-year-old mummy, only to find the corpse underneath the delicate attire of a possible shaman priest had decayed and broken at the neck and arms.
But research work on the mummy would continue, said Dr. Li Xiao, head of the heritage bureau in Turpan, of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region… Archaeologists found a sack of marijuana leaves buried alongside the mummy. He also wore huge earrings of copper and gold, and a turquoise necklace, and held a copper laced stick in his right hand and a bronze axe in the left. His hands were crossed in front of his chest. “From his outfit and the marijuana leaves, we assume he was a shaman,” said Li. “He must have been between 40 and 50 years old when he died.”
But now they’ve gone a step forward in an article that will no doubt be translated soon titled “2500 Year old Marijuana Unearthed in Turpan Cemetary”, in which researchers declare that it is quite possibly the worlds oldest grass. According to Dr. Jiang Hong’en, when the pot was unearthed in 2003, “it was still green, as if it had just been plucked, and completely intact”. Dr. Jiang said the Kunming Botanical Insititute confirmed the bud was 2,500 years old. Anonymous sources quote that the doctors discussed the results and concluded “Dude. *Cough* *Cough* It’s really sticky!”. They then rambled for several hours about how Uyghurs are actually “really f**kin chill” and how they could have East Turkestan is they promised a regular hook-up.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.