In the past few years, archaeological studies have revealed that ancient people may have used recreational drugs in their rituals. According to archaeologists, ancient Andean civilizations may have used hidden passageways to take part in rituals that involved psychedelic drugs.
Archaeologists on a dig in Peru discovered a network of hidden galleries and passageways deep inside an ancient temple complex called Chavin de Huántar, which is located in the Peruvian Andes. The archaeologists believe that this complex of passageways and chambers was used in religious rituals that may have involved psychedelic drugs. These hidden structures had been sealed off from the public for approximately 3,000 years.
Lead researcher and Stanford University archaeologist John Rick said that the larger galleries in the complex may have been used to worship idols while the dark, isolated chamber may have served as sensory deprivation chambers. In a statement, he described stone-lined corridors, passageways, cells, niches and rooms with stone beam roofs that were large enough to walk through. As far as the archaeologists could tell, Rick said, the galleries had a number of functions that they believe are all related to religious rituals.
He noted that the passageways they discovered are not tunnels by definition because the ancient Andeans did not excavate the ground to dig them. Rather, the ancients constructed the complex of passageways and chambers inside the mammoth temple complex between 1200 B.C and 200 B.C.
There are multiple levels of passageways with plenty of twists and sharp 90-degree corners. Most of the passageways stretch for up to 300 feet, or 100 meters. Rick said that although this network of passageways was discovered a couple of years ago, archaeologists didn’t get the chance to begin exploring it until this year. In total, Rick reported that archaeologists have discovered 36 galleries and their passageways at the Chavin de Huántar temple complex after excavating the location for 15 years.
The archaeologists believe the massive temple complex was the center of religious activity for the Chavin people, a now-extinct pre-Columbian civilization that lived in central and northern Peru more than 3,000 years ago.
Chavín de Huántar is one of many ancient religious sites in the region but is undoubtedly the largest Chavin religious site. Archaeologists first detected the recently explored passageways in 2019 but were forced to halt any in-person explorations due to COVID-19 restrictions. It wasn’t until this May that archaeologists were able to explore the passageways, becoming the first people to do so in three millennia.
The possibility that ancients in Peru used psychedelics during their worship ceremonies means that these substances being studied for their medicinal potential by companies such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) have an even longer history of use than had previously been thought.
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