A member of Brazil's Huni Kui tribe prepares ayahuasca to use in a healing ritual. The psychoactive plant preparation is indigenous to the peoples of the Amazon basin.
Ancient hallucinogens found in 1,000-year-old shamanic pouch
The ritual container, made of three fox snouts, contains the earliest known evidence of ayahuasca preparation.
A small pouch, made from three fox snouts neatly sewn together, may contain the world’s earliest archaeological evidence for the consumption of ayahuasca, a psychoactive plant preparation indigenous to peoples of the Amazon basin that produces potent hallucinations.
The pouch likely belonged to a shaman in what is now southwestern Bolivia around a thousand years ago, according to José Capriles, an anthropologist at Penn State University and an author of a paper published on the discovery today in the journal PNAS.
Capriles found the pouch—and evidence of its trip-inducing contents—during a 2010 archaeological dig in Cueva del Chileno, a rock shelter that shows signs of human activity going back 4,000 years.
The cave was once used as a tomb, and though