Whether we like it or not, drug use in Egypt is pretty common even though it’s looked down on by society due to tradition and religious beliefs. So when did this all start? Is it possible that the use of drugs in Egypt dates back to the Ancient Egyptians?
On a couple of random occasions, toxicologists accidentally discovered traces of tobacco and cocaine in samples taken from mummies. At first they doubted the results because it seemed impossible for old world Ancient Egyptians to be consuming new world plants that were only found in America at the time. The tests were repeated over and over eventually leading them to double check if the mummy was fake to begin with. After many tests, these shocking findings were confirmed. So maybe the all famous Christopher Columbus wasn’t the first person to discover America after all.
According to the mummy of Ramses II, he suffered severe dental problems before he died. This was probably due to the presence of sand grains in their food back then which wore the teeth down almost to the gums allowing the development of severe and painful infections. Given that the Andean Indians have chewed coca leaves for centuries to relieve hunger pains, and cocaine derivatives are still among the most common dental anesthetics used today, I guess it is safe to suggest that our dear Ramses II might have used luxurious imported coca leaves to numb his royal pain.
If the Ancient Egyptians did indeed get a hand on coca leaves, this raises the possibility that international trade existed back in the ancient times. Despite the fact that we live in the 21st century, there is A LOT that we still don’t know about the Ancient Egyptian dareeba who continue to amuse the world.