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New Discovery Puts Earliest Use of Opium in Israel in Pre-Biblical Times

There are many who believe that the sacred books of the world’s religions were inspired not by gods but by psychoactive drugs taken as part of ancient rituals or perhaps even accidentally. Those looking for such an inspiration for the Hebrew bible or Christian Old Testament may have one – archeologists have found evidence of the earliest use of the hallucinogenic drug opium in ceramic vessels discovered at Tel Yehud, a biblical city in Israel. The opium residue dates back to the 14th century BCE, confirming the role the drug played in the early cultures of the Near East while showing uses in Late Bronze Age burial rituals and perhaps in the writing of sacred texts.

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