We tend to think that smoking is a scourge that dates back to the last century, yet according to researchers at the University of Washington, people in North America smoked tobacco at least 1200 years ago.
If prevention campaigns succeed to encourage us to give up smoking. This scourge is not yet peculiar to our time. A team of researchers led by Shannon Tushingham from the University of Washington to published in the minutes of the American Academy of Sciences (Pnas) an article showing that North American Indians already smoked tobacco 1200 years ago.
Shannon Tushingham's team analyzed a dozen tube-shaped artifacts belonging to to the Indian tribes Nose Breakthroughs and now exhibited in museums. They were able to reveal the presence of nicotine in eight of them.
Do not go, however, you imagine America's 1000 year populated by Gitanes smokers. Consumption was certainly widespread on the continent but very different from ours. "Tobacco consumption was extremely socially regulatedSays Danièle Dehouve, research director at the CNRS and specialist in pre-Columbian America. "It was probably very different from one place to another and unfortunately we have very few sources for North America. But we know that in Mexico tobacco was reserved for the great bucket of noble and warrior.»
The smoked plant, Nicotiana rustica, made the other psychotropic drugs more powerful. It was therefore consumed surely in addition to other substances. A cocktail enough to give faith and courage before going into battle.
The authors state in their publication that the oldest traces of tobacco consumption are much older. They date from 6000 to 8000 years ago, but they are much further south in the Andes. For a long time, it was thought that the people of North America would stuff their pipes with plants like kinnikinnick or bearberry. It was considered that tobacco had arrived much later, in 1790 when the Europeans started trading.
source : Lefigaro.fr/