Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Earliest Evidence of Marijuana Is From Jomon Japan

The earliest evidence of marijuana use by humans (for its hemp fibers) comes from Jomon Japan.

[T]he earliest traces of cannabis in Japan are seeds and woven fibers discovered in the west of the country dating back to the Jomon Period (10,000 BC – 300 BC). Archaeologists suggest that cannabis fibers were used for clothes – as well as for bow strings and fishing lines. These plants were likely cannabis sativa – prized for its strong fibers – a thesis supported by a Japanese prehistoric cave painting which appears to show a tall spindly plant with cannabis’s tell-tale leaves.

Until World War II, it was an important commercial crop in Japan.

This changed after World War II, and Japan now has some of the most strict anti-cannabis laws in the world.


Maju said...

What date does it have exactly? 10,000-300 BCE is a huge bracket and overlaps the oldest known hemp string in Europe, which is from Chalcolithic Portugal.

G Horvat said...

I think they have 6000-7000 yo Cannabis sativa from Torihama shell midden, Fukui perfecture but I wonder what was used to impress the cord in much earlier pottery.

Maju said...

That'd be much older than the Portuguese one indeed.

Cords can be made of many different plants.

DDeden said...

Congo Pygmies are Hunters-Gatherers, but they grow cannabis. Similarly, many North American AmerIndians grew tobacco early but not food plants until much later.

I consider the Jomon to be originally Asian Pygmies, later heavily mixed with Ainu, Hmong, Yayoi.