Old habits die hard: Utah site reveals human tobacco use 12,300 ...

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Old habits die hard: Utah site reveals human tobacco use 12,300 years ago

Until now, the earliest documented use of tobacco dated to 3,300 years ago. This discovery traces it to the Ice Ace

WILL DUNHAM

Scientists have unearthed evidence of a milestone in human culture - the earliest-known use of tobacco - in the remnants of a hearth built by early inhabitants of North America’s interior about 12,300 years ago.

Researchers discovered four charred seeds of a wild tobacco plant within the hearth contents in Utah’s Great Salt Lake Desert, with stone tools and duck bones left over from meals. Until now, the earliest documented use of tobacco came in the form of nicotine residue found inside a smoking pipe from Alabama dating to 3,300 years ago.

The researchers believe the nomadic hunter-gatherers at the Utah site may have smoked the tobacco or perhaps sucked wads of tobacco plant fibre for the stimulant qualities offered by the nicotine it contained...

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