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Shenyang Imperial Palace (Mukden Palace) was the former imperial palace of the early Manchu-led Qing dynasty and UNESCO world heritage site built 400 years ago in Shenyang, China. Source: EcoSpace/Adobe Stock

How Did the Qing Dynasty Fall? (Video)

The collapse of the Qing Dynasty was a culmination of internal turmoil and external pressures spanning centuries. Established in 1644, it succeeded the Ming Dynasty , and the Qing rulers initially...
One of the 14th-century-BC Canaanite burials at Tel Yehud associated with vessels containing traces of opium. Source: Assaf Peretz / Israel Antiquities Authority

Evidence of Opium Use By Canaanites in 14th Century BC Found

Human beings have been using hallucinogenic or psychoactive drugs to experience pleasurable sensations or induce altered states of consciousness for thousands of years. It is possible this activity...
Did Ancient Swiss Farmers Genetically Modify Opium Poppies?

Did Ancient Swiss Farmers Genetically Modify Opium Poppies?

When it comes to plants with powerful medical applications Asia can be called the ‘traditional home.’ However, this is not the case when it comes to opium poppies, for new research has shown their...
Were Asclepian Centers Powered By Magical Ritual or Holistic Healthcare?

Were Asclepian Centers Powered By Magical Ritual or Holistic Healthcare?

Doctors the world over take the Hippocratic oath swearing to do no harm to patients. In doing this, to quote the words of the oath itself, they “call upon Apollo the physician and Asclepius, Hygeia...
An opium den in 18th-century China through the eyes of a Western artist (18th Century) (Public Domain)

The Highs And Lows Of Ancient Heroin And Cocaine

For two centuries archaeologists and anthropologists have uncovered evidence of the ritual and medicinal application of mind-altering drugs which were central components in ancient human cultures...
The 3000 year old Scythian gold ritual vessel is on action. Source: Timeline / Fair Use.

Golden Vessel Used In Scythian Drug-Fueled Rituals Is Expected to Sell for $57K At Auction

A remarkable tiny golden vessel is going on auction in London. The item comes from the nomadic Scythian culture, who once dominated the Eurasian Steppe in classical times. It is valued at 45,000 GBP...
Still life with skull and withered opium head.

Heroin: Killer Drug was Marketed and Sold by Bayer as a Non-Addictive Cough Syrup

Heroin is a deadly drug with a notorious reputation. It is considered to be a dangerous addiction-producing drug, and the abuse of this substance has extremely negative results on individuals and...
Left, opiate poppy and right Vessel in which traces of opiate have been found.

Bronze Age High: Traces of Opiates Found in Cypriot Vessel

Researchers at the University of York and the British Museum have discovered traces of opiates preserved inside a distinctive vessel dating back to the Late Bronze Age. Vessels of this type, known as...
A seedhead of an opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, with white latex. (Public Domain) Cylinder-seal of the "Lady" or "Queen" (Sumerian NIN) Puabi, one of the defuncts of the Royal Cemetery of Ur, c. 2600 BC. Banquet scene, typical of the Early Dynastic Period.

New Research Provides First Peek at Ancient Mesopotamian Drug Use

Medical usage? Ritual practice? Or perhaps the drugs served both purposes? Researchers are asking what the recently recovered psychoactive drug residues from ancient Mesopotamia mean. But not...
Drugs in Ancient Cultures: A History of Drug Use and Effects

Drugs in Ancient Cultures: A History of Drug Use and Effects

The battle against drugs and drug usage rages on today and for good reason. However, with the near constant limelight that the ‘drug war’ receives today, it can seem like the most common drugs have...
The dramatic scenes of an older man slaying a young man depicted on the Scythian art might reference the ancient “Bastard Wars” as recorded by Herodotus.

Secret Chamber Found at Scythian Burial Mound Reveals Golden Treasure of Drug-Fueled Rituals

Elaborate golden treasures with traces of cannabis and opium have been discovered in a secret chamber hidden in an ancient Scythian burial mound near Strovopol, Russia. Described as a once-in-a-...
Ancient relief carving depicting drug use

Archaeological study explores drug-taking and altered states in prehistory

Neanderthals on speed 60,000 years ago; Paleolithic art inspired by psilocybin or Amanita muscaria mushroom trips; and alcohol-fueled religious worship all over the world down through the ages –...