We're going way back for today's Geo Quiz, about 3,000 years back.
Back around the 7th century BC, the first Olympic games were up and running in Greece. And the Polynesians were sailing all the way to the Hawaiian Islands.
Meanwhile in a remote corner of Central Asia it seems that some ancient shamans were experimenting with drugs. Researchers exploring a tomb there have turned up...an ancient stash of cannabis.
Neurologist Ethan Russo led a team of scientists to investigate the site:
"The site in question is an area extremely remote about it's about the furthest inland place one can get to on Earth, about 2500 km from either the Arctic Ocean or the Indian Ocean, and its near the second lowest spot on Earth after the Dead Sea."
This archaeological site is at the edge of one of the world's great deserts, the largest one in Asia.
Can you name the desert?
The answer to the Geo Quiz is the Gobi Desert -- the largest desert in Asia. It covers parts of north-western China, and southern Mongolia.
Map of Turpan, Xinjiang, China and its location in Central Asia. 2) Map of Yanghai Tombs site and surrounding area (adapted from Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology)Map of Turpan, Xinjiang, China and its location in Central Asia. 2) Map of Yanghai Tombs site and surrounding area (adapted from Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology)
We're going way back for the answer to today's Geo Quiz. The time was 2700 years ago. The place -- a remote corner of north-western China.
Scientist Ethan Russo led a team of researchers to the tomb of an ancient shaman that was recently discovered near the city of Turpan in Xinjiang -- the Uighur Autonomous Region of China. This region is part of the Gobi Desert, the vast desert in Central Asia that covers parts of northern and north-western China, and Mongolia.
Photomicrographs of ancient cannabis (courtesy Journal of Experimental Botany)Photomicrographs of ancient cannabis (courtesy Journal of Experimental Botany)
Listen to our interview to hear more about how scientists investigated the oldest ever stash of marijuana:
Links to research examining the phytochemistry and genetics of ancient cannabis from Xinjiang as published in Journal of Experimental Botany.