AN ANCIENT Peruvian civilization drugged children with psychedelics before sacrificing them to their gods in a religious ritual, scientists now claim.
New research shows the Nazca Society drugged at least one young child with the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus before they died.
That researchTo be published in the December 2022 issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, it focused on the remains of 22 individuals found in Peru’s Yauca Valley, Cahuachi and Estaqueria – known ruin sites of Nazca.
Of the samples, only 11 were from the early Nazca period, including two people who tested positive for “psychoactive substances” – a woman and a child.
This was discovered by testing hair found on the woman’s and child’s trophy heads.
Specifically, the child tested positive for high levels of “mescaline,” a hallucinogen brought on by high consumption of the San Pedro cactus.
Meanwhile, scientists determined that the female chewed coca leaves before she died.
This research is reportedly “the first evidence” that some trophy head victims were drugged before they died.
“The trophy head is the first case of consumption of San Pedro by a person living on the southern Peruvian coast,” said lead author Dagmara Socha live science.
“It’s also the first evidence that some of the victims made into trophy heads were given stimulants before they died.”
The study authors described the female and juvenile trophy heads as “rare” because the majority of the adult males found belonged.
“The study’s findings support the idea that some of the trophy heads from the early Nazca period may have come from ritually sacrificed sacrifices rather than during warfare,” the study reads.
The study also tested the hair of two male trophy heads – both lacking any active ingredients.
They suggest that this could indicate “different social backgrounds of the victims” or other simple factors such as hair texture or condition.
“We don’t actually know how often these [plants] were used,” said Socha.
“In the case of San Pedro, it is not well preserved in the archaeological context, and in the case of the coca leaves and Banisteriopsis caapiit was never established that they grew in this region during this period.”
Although the results are groundbreaking, the study’s authors also recommend further analysis of their research, saying it “may shed new light on the interpretation and evolution of ritual headhunting in pre-Columbian Peru over the centuries.”
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/news-tech/9661210/ancient-child-drugged-psychedelics-before-sacrifice-study/ Ancient mummified child was drugged with psychedelics before being ritually sacrificed to the gods, scientists reveal