Ancient Andean Use of Hallucinogenics

January 27, 2022

Archaeologists are researching the site of  Quilcapampa built by the Wari culture in Peru (550-1000 CE), occupied between 800-850 CE. They found a pit with a million seeds of Schinus molle: Peruvian pepper used to make a beer like drink, chicha. In another post they found seeds from the Vilca tree which are hallucinogenic in nature. Drinking chicha with this substance would provide a controlled and mild hallucinogenic high. Taken without the chicha gives one the impression of flying. This hallucinogen was widely used in Andean cultures.

Wari leaders probably used this experience to guests to solidify bonds between groups in the area.

The research is published in Antiquity, DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2021.177

newscientist has the report here;