Study Shows That Bronze Age People Got High on Drugs in Cave Rituals

Scientists found proof of hallucinogens and stimulants in 3,000-year-old hair samples from Menorca — a neighbor of modern party hotspots Ibiza and Magaluf.

The evidence comes from a cave on the island of Mallorca, which was used as a burial site between 2200 and 1800 BC. The cave, known as Es Cuieram, contains the remains of at least 24 people, many of whom were buried with drug-related objects.

The Hair samples, suggest Bronze Age people were consuming various drugs to get high. Chemical hair analysis found atropine that can cause hallucinations, and ephedrine, a stimulant used to make modern-day crystal meth.

Professor Elisa Guerra-Doce, from the University of Valladolid in Spain, said it is the first direct evidence of prehistoric drug use in Europe.

This evidence suggests that Bronze Age people may have used drugs for ceremonial and medicinal purposes. The researchers concluded that their findings demonstrate that Bronze Age people had a sophisticated knowledge of the plants around them and could potentially have used them for psychoactive experiences.