Ritual intoxication in the Holy Land

Times of Israel reports on archaelogists puzzling out just *how* high Philistines were getting for religious reasons:

In an upcoming symposium in Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, aptly titled “Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll,” archaeologists will discuss the analysis of findings from an incineration pit in Yavneh that was discovered a decade ago.

The findings constitute the oldest known ritual use of the intoxicating Hyoscyamus plant, which has an effect on the body similar to that of alcohol.

Thousands of artifacts used for worship were found inside the Yavneh pit, including clay and stone bowls, some of which served to hold the intoxicating plants, as well as hallucinogenic substances such as nutmeg.

According to [Dr. Devori] Mandar [of the Earth Science Institute at Hebrew University], the field of “sensory archaeology” is in its very early stages, and substantial knowledge is still lacking.

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