By Steve Elliott
Archaelogical findings show that cannabis cultivation was common among the Vikings of the Iron Age in southern Norway; the only questions now are how they used the fiber, seeds and oil from the versatile hemp plant.
Hemp was cultivated on a remote mountain farm between the 650 and 800 A.D., at the beginning of the Vikings' ascendancy, reports ThorNews.
Samples from excavations at the Sosteli Iron Age Farm have been stored in the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, reports Asle Rønning at Forskning.no.
This isn't the first time that traces of hemp cultivation have been found, according to archaeologist and county conservator Frans-Arne Stylegar. Previously, there have been several discoveries of hemp seeds in eastern Norway, including a find in the Hamar municiplaity dating back to the 400s A.D. But in the other cases, only a few grains were found, and this was a more extensive discovery.
Sosteli is a much less central location than other places where hemp traces were found, indicating that cannabis cultivation was common among the Vikings.
It is uncertain whether the Vikings used cannabis as a drug, but it is seen as likely that they used hemp fibers to make textiles and ropes.