2400 years ago, a mysterious tribe of stoners lived in Russia called the Scythians. 

They were a fearsome and nomadic group of warriors, who ruled the Siberian grasslands for thousands of years. They struck terror into the hearts of their enemies, the Greeks and the Persians, and for good reason: the Scythians were bloodthirsty, master equestrians who were famously skilled with a bow and arrow.

And apparently, they also really liked getting high in their spare time. Who wouldn’t when you’re smoking bongs made out of gold?

Yes, pure, solid 22 karat gold bongs were the Scythian’s preferred method for cannabis consumption. Which were so sacred and important to these people, when they died, they were buried alongside their gilded pipes. That’s a level of dedication that most stoners, potheads, weed fiends and wooks can only aspire to, even in a place like Colorado. 

Scythian gold art - bongs  Scythian gold art - bongsExamples of Scythian gold art – which there is a llot of. These people loved gold. 

It’s no secret that the Scythians loved gold (probably more than Donald Trump and Vlad Putin combined, believe it or not) and we’ve known for a very long time that they smoked some crazy shit. The “Father of History” Herototus described their smoking rituals in his famous text, The Histories:

“The Scythians… take some of this hempseed, and, creeping under the felt coverings, throw it upon the red-hot stones; immediately it smokes, and gives out such a vapour as no Grecian vapour-bath can exceed; the Scyths, delighted, shout for joy.”

But a recent high-tech chemical analysis of their smoking devices, revealed that the Scyths smoked more than just “hempseed” when they wanted to get totally blissed out. They dabbled in the Big O, too.

The discovery was made in 2015 after a wealth of golden artifacts were dug up from a Scythian burial mound (known as a kurgan) in Siberia. Among the unearthed treasures, archaeologists found several cups, rings and two golden “bongs” skillfully embossed with extremely detailed images of people being slaughtered and horses and stags being ripped apart by Griffons. 

In order to find out what, exactly the Scyths were smoking with these devices, the archaeologists enlisted the help of a criminologist to analyze the residue inside the vessles. They tested the ancient black residue and determined that it had in fact been left by cannabis and opium. 

A combo affectionatly referred to on the street as an “A-bomb.”

That both drugs were being used simultaneously is beyond doubt,” says Anton Gass, an archaeologist at the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin. 

So, it's no wonder Herodotus witnessed these people screaming in ecstasy when they smoked — they were getting mangled ripping their gilded bongs, flying like kites over the Siberian grasslands.

The golden Scythian bongs pulled out of this kurgan may be the oldest existing bongs in the world. According to the archaeologists’ carbon dating, the last time these things were used was probably several hundred years before Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity. Now, 2,400 years later they’re chilling out on the shelves of a Russian history museum.

Those things were built to last. Which, is very unlike the glass bongs of today. Sure, our smoking devices look cool, and many of them are also works of art in-and-of themselves. But 2,400 years from now it’s hard to imagine archaeologists finding anything more than glass shards where our magnificent water pipes once stood. 

People just don't make bongs like they used to. 

If you want to check out the Scythian bongs (and the other artifacts form the find) click here