The Typing Monkey likes to pretend that there are no other media outlets, but the guys in typesetting brought an article to our attention that merits mention. (That they stopped giggling long enough to put together a complete sentence surprised us all.)
The mummified remains of a 2,700-year-old corpse were uncovered in China's Gobi desert recently. Buried along with the man was a musical instrument, a bow and arrow, some other odds and ends and a big bag of marijuana. Not hemp for rope and clothing, but good old fashioned pot -- the female buds of the plant that some folks smoke or bake into brownies for the purpose of getting high.
Now, burying your dead with items they prized while living is not unusual. And sending loved ones into the great beyond with tools they might need in the afterlife is not unheard of either. The Egyptians put wine and other gifts into tombs so that the deceased could gain entry into the next world.
What's worth noting in the article is that the scientists who examined the Gobi mummy's personal effects are puzzled by the absence of a pipe or other smoking device. Academically, they not only wonder if the cannabis was for "spiritual or medicinal" purposes, but how this man and his people enjoyed the benefits of their marijuana since it's not clear how he was supposed to torch up in the great beyond.
The Typing Monkey offers an alternate theory. Let's cast aside the idea that his rolling papers disintegrated, or that a clay or wood pipe that was interred with him decayed over the centuries. This gentlemen's stash is an offering for the inhabitants of the next world.
If you're bringing wine to Zeus and his fellow gods and goddesses, you don't bring some crummy bronze goblet you bought at the open-air market. They live on Mount Olympus -- they have quality drinking vessels. Just bring your best wine and let them serve it up. Likewise, you don't bring a stein for Odin. You bring some quality mead and hope he welcomes you and your gift.
Whoever this fellow in the Gobi believed he was going to meet once he crossed over into the great beyond, he did the right thing by brining the best his people had to offer and counted on his ancient Chinese deities to have a proper smoke-delivery system. The gods gave him the cannabis, surely they know how to indulge.
Here's the article.