2,400 Years Old Bong: Solid Gold Ornate Instruments Used By Russian Royalty To Smoke Cannabis Unearthed

One of the oldest “bongs,” used to smoke opium and cannabis, have been unearthed in Russia. Believed to be used by Russian royalty and tribal chiefs, these bongs are made from solid gold and are quite ornate.

Construction workers putting up power lines stumbled upon multiple artifacts that were made of solid gold. Subsequent excavations yielded golden cups, rings, and neck rings. While all these have been cleaned and put up for display in a Russian museum, archaeologists were quite fascinated by two circular objects which appeared very peculiar and couldn’t be cataloged. These “cups” had thick black residue, commonly referred to as soot, sticking to them even after being buried for a long time.

Upon analyzing the residue, archaeologists realized these cups were no ordinary utensils, but were bongs meant to smoke opium or cannabis. Moreover, given the ornate nature and the fact that they were made from solid gold, experts concluded the bongs were used by royalty or tribal chiefs in a ceremonial setting.

The Bongs Were Quite Ornate, Leading Experts TO Believe They Were Used By Royalty
The Bongs Were Quite Ornate, Leading Experts To Believe They Were Used By Royalty

It was further deduced that the impressive tools belonged to the Scythians. A fierce nomadic warrior race, the Scythians ruled large swathes of Europe and Asia between the 9th century BC and the 4th century AD. This meant the bongs could be about 2,400 years old, making them some of the oldest instruments discovered that were used for the specific purpose of smoking cannabis.

It is a common assumption that the Scythians regularly smoked and many a times even brewed powerful concoctions of cannabis and opium. Consumption of such highly hallucinogenic and mind-altering preparations helped them feel super-human and accorded them courage to head into battle. Greek historian Herodotus, who died in 425 BC, had chronicled such events,

“Scythians used a plant to produce smoke that no Grecian vapour-bath can surpass which made them shout aloud.”

The bongs that the construction crew accidentally dug up lay in a vast grave mound in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia. The other artifacts were found inside a special chamber and archaeologists believe someone had taken great trouble at concealing them in multiple layers of clay.

The bongs have scenes that have been painstakingly etched by skilled artisans and could be meant only for the leaders of the tribes or kings. Apart from mystical creatures, one of the bongs has a detailed scene of an elderly bearded man killing young warriors and the other one had griffons attacking a horse and a stag.

[Image Credit | 1TV]

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