New Research on the Use of Psychedelics in Early Nazca Culture

March 15, 2023

Researchers in Peru haver analyzed the remains of 22 individuals from the early Nazca culture (100 BCE-400 CE)at 3 Nazca sites. 4 of them were trophy heads, a child, an adult female and two male adults. They found a high level of mescaline  from the San Pedro cactus in the sacrificed individuals and in the child’s hair. This cactus is known in the Quechua language as Huachuma, meaning “removing the head.” And the child and the other three had their heads removed after sacrifice. The female adult had also been chewing coca leaves. The male heads were free of drugs since they were males capture in combat.

More recent Inca civilization gave ayahuasca to child sacrifice victims as an anti-depressant while they awaited their fate. However, as the study authors note, “this is the first proof that some of the victims transformed into trophy heads were given stimulants prior to their death.” 
The same study also found evidence of ayahuasca use among other mummified individuals from the Early Nazca Period – which ran from 100 BCE to 450 CE – and therefore provides the earliest archaeological evidence for the consumption of these two psychedelic plants.
Ayahuasca was found in the hair of two other individuals among the remaining 18. One had so much in his hair that it suggests he was a shaman. Coca was found in five others. This is the earliest evidence of the use of Ayahuasca and San Pedro ever found, and confirms the use of Coca leaves in the early Nazca culture.

The study has been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. has the report here;

Mike Ruggeri’s Nazca Era Peru