Earlier I wrote about the Yuezhi Who lived in the Ili Basin in western Xinjiang and the Turpan Basin. While in Turpan I visited the ruins of the ancient city of Jiaohe and the nearby Yueshi graves dating to over 2000 years ago.
Now comes word that the Yuezhi (or Gushi as they are sometimes called) of Turpan were Proto-Hippy Potheads. According to CNN:
An ancient race that lived 2,700 years ago in the Gobi Desert may have been among the first to use cannabis for medical or religious purposes. Researchers believe an ancient Gushi [Yueshi] shaman may have consumed or burned pot for medical or religious purposes. Nearly two pounds of the plant was found stashed in the tomb of a Gushi shaman. It was high in the chemical compounds that provide its psychoactive properties.
"It had evidence of the chemical attributes of cannabis used as a drug," said Dr. Ethan Russo, an author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Botany. "It could have been for pain control. It could have been for other medicinal properties. It could have been used as an aid to divination."
The Gushi people were a Caucasian race with light hair and blue eyes who likely migrated thousands of years ago from the steppes of Russia to what is now China. A nomadic people, they were accomplished horsemen and archers. Chinese archaeologists excavating a network of 2,500 tombs near the town of Turpan in the Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region unearthed the shaman's grave, which contained the cannabis, along with a trove of artifacts such as bridles, archery equipment and a rare harp.
Since archery equipment and pot were found together these people may have been the distant ancestors of Ted Nugent. The harp was no doubt a precursor of the electric guitar.