August 15, 2014
Earliest Traces of Pre-Aspirin Compound Found in Colorado
Archaeologists have analyzed pottery sherds from a rockshelter in Colorado and found traces of salicylic acid, derived from willow bark. The residues are a 70%-93% match to salicylic acid. The sherds date to 586-692 CE. This may be the earliest physical evidence of this chemical, used in making modern day aspirin, in North America. The ethnographic record proves the widespread use of willow bark throughout the West and Great Plains. The sherd with the concentration of the pain killer may have been a “medicine pot” used for medicinal purposes.
Western Digs has the report here, with two photos;