Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany

Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany

Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany

Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany

Synopsis

Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary exploration of the natural origins and early evolution of this famous plant, highlighting its historic role in the development of human societies. Cannabis has long been prized for the strong and durable fiber in its stalks, its edible and oil-rich seeds, and the psychoactive and medicinal compounds produced by its female flowers. The culturally valuable and often irreplaceable goods derived from cannabis deeply influenced the commercial, medical, ritual, and religious practices of cultures throughout the ages, and human desire for these commodities directed the evolution of the plant toward its contemporary varieties. As interest in cannabis grows and public debate over its many uses rises, this book will help us understand why humanity continues to rely on this plant and adapts it to suit our needs.

Excerpt

The actual use of Cannabis … by past societies is not
surprising as it is a source of three useful products; hemp
fibres [sic] and seeds as well as the resin itself and it can
also grow wild requiring very little attention.
(DERHAM 2004)

INTRODUCTION

METHODOLOGY: THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH

TYPES OF ARCHAEOBOTANICAL EVIDENCE FOR CANNABIS Seeds Fibers Pollen

Fiber and Seed Impressions Other Carbonized and Chemical Remains Phytoliths

WRITTEN RECORDS OF CANNABIS’S PRESENCE AND USE

NONHUMAN AGENCIES AFFECTING THE GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE OF CANNABIS

HUMAN IMPACT ON THE DISPERSAL AND EXPANDING GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE OF CANNABIS

EARLY RELATIONSHIPS AMONG HUMANS AND CANNABIS IN CENTRAL ASIA

Fishing and Hemp

Hemp, Humans, and Horses in Eurasia

Scythians and Cannabis

ARCHEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL EVIDENCE FOR THE SPREAD OF CANNABIS

DIFFUSION THROUGHOUT EAST ASIA

DIFFUSION FROM NORTHEASTERN CHINA INTO KOREA AND JAPAN

DIFFUSION INTO SOUTH ASIA

ARCHAEOBOTANICAL EVIDENCE FROM SOUTH ASIA

DIFFUSION INTO SOUTHWEST ASIA AND EGYPT

DIFFUSION INTO EUROPE AND THE MEDITERRANEAN Romania Bulgaria Hungary Poland Baltic Region Finland

Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia Germany Switzerland Northern France Iberian Peninsula Netherlands Sweden Norway Denmark British Isles Mediterranean Region

SUMMARY OF DISPERSAL PHASES WITHIN AND BEYOND EURASIA

Phase 1: Primary Dispersal across Eurasia—ca. 10,000 to 2000 bp

Phase 2: Spread into Africa and Southeast Asia—ca. 2000 to 500 bp

Phase 3: Migration to the New World—1545 to 1800

Phase 4: Migration to the New World—1800 to 1945

Phase 5: Migration after World War II—1945 to 1990

Phase 6: Artificial Environments and the Proliferation of Industrial Hemp—1990 to the Present

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS: CANNABIS’S DISPERSAL FROM AN EVOLUTIONARY POINT OF VIEW

59 . . .

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