science – Archaeologists find richest cache of ancient mind-altering drugs in South America

Via Michael Price, science

When José Capriles arrived in 2008 at the Cueva del Chileno rock shelter, nestled on the western slopes of Bolivia’s Andes, he didn’t know what he would find within.

Now, more than a decade later, Capriles—an anthropologist at Pennsylvania State University in State College—and colleagues have discovered that the 1000-year-old bag contains the most varied combination of psychoactive compounds found at a South American site, including cocaine and the primary ingredients in a hallucinogenic tea called ayahuasca. The contents suggest the users were well versed in the psychoactive properties of the substances, and also that they sourced their goods from well-established trade routes.

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