Sunday, October 19, 2014

Siberian Princess / Shaman Used Cannabis; Had Cancer?

UPDATE 10/15: Princess Ukok is included in the new book Tokin' Women: A 4000-Year Herstory.

Scientists are claiming that the 2500-year-old mummy known as the "Ice Princess," whose elaborately tatooed body was buried with six saddled horses and other acoutrements including a container of cannabis, had breast cancer.

The Siberian woman's frozen remains were discovered in 1993 by archaeologist Natalia Polosmak high in the Altai Mountains. She was apparently a high priestess of the Pazyryk people, who were closely related to the Scythians, a tribe that inhaled cannabis smoke ritually, as described by the Greek historian Herodotus in 440BCE.

Now a team of Russian scientists say MRI technology has found evidence of breast cancer, the bone infection osteomyelitis, and injuries consistent with a fall -- perhaps from a horse, in the Ice Princess. Polosmak wrote in a recent issue of the journal Science First Hand: “It is likely that for this sick woman, the regular inhalation of cannabis smoke was a necessity.”

I rather like to think of her as more a shamaness. Her "elaborate headgear" can be interpreted "as a symbol of the Tree of Life—a healing tree which existed in so many cultures all around the planet."

Another recent discovery found two Viking women buried similarly with a container of cannabis.

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