Archaeologists discovered a 1,000-year-old leather bundle in a cave in Bolivia containing traces of ayahuasca, the powerful hallucinogenic, and other drugs like cocaine.
Researchers led by the University of Berkeley, California archaeologist Melanie Miller analyzed a pouch made from three fox snouts sewn together and found that it tested positive for at least five plant-based psychoactive substances — including dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and harmine, key active compounds in ayahuasca.
The preserved ritual bundle was found at 13,000-foot elevations in the Lipez Altiplano region of southwestern Bolivia and it dates back to the pre-Inca Tiwanaku civilization, according to researchers.
Although using ayahuasca is currently popular among Silicon Valley tech workers and celebrities, researchers say these findings are a testament to mind-altering brew’s ancient history.
The 1,000-year-old ritual bundle discovered by researchers in a Bolivian cave.
The drug is made by brewing the vines of the Banisteriopsis Caapi and the leaves of the chacruna (Psychotria viridis) shrub. The leaves can release DMT and the vines release harmine — a combination that increases the drug’s effect.
The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.