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High times in ancient China revealed in funerary cannabis discoveryFILE PHOTO: Marijuana plants are displayed for sale at Canna Pi medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Marijuana chemical residue has been found in incense burners apparently used during funerary rites at a mountainous site in western China in about 500 BC, providing what may be the oldest evidence of smoking cannabis for its mind-altering properties.

The evidence was found on 10 wooden braziers containing stones with burn marks that were discovered in eight tombs at the Jirzankal Cemetery site in the Pamir Mountains in China’s Xinjiang region, scientists said on Wednesday. The tombs also bore human skeletons and artefacts including a type of angular harp used in ancient funerals

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