Europeans are known for their love for raves. Though there isn’t exactly a “party animal gene,” it just so coincidentally happens that some of their ancestors in the Bronze Age got high on hallucinogens in their own “secret” club — inside a cave! But they didn’t exclusively get high on psychedelics for the sheer purpose of achieving a euphoric state.

Cave raves: apparently, one Bronze Age bonding activity was getting high on hallucinogens!

In Menorca — a Spanish island that’s situated in the Mediterranean Sea — lies a cave (that was only discovered by spelunkers in 1995) called Es Càrritx. Since its discovery, various archeologists have wanted to see what was inside it. There, they found over 200 individuals who once inhabited the cave. Naturally, the scientists were in awe of what they found.

Not only did the archeologists view the remains of people who lived a long time ago (approximately 2,800-3,000 years ago), but they also found sealed containers that had strands of hair — that had also been dyed red. These strands of hair were then carefully tested using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography and high-resolution mass spectroscopy — turns out, the Es Càrritx people participated in “cave raves!”

Why did the Europeans of the Bronze Age get high on hallucinogens?

Scientists (whose journal was published in Scientific Reports) can only hypothesize why some people from the Bronze Age got high on hallucinogens. Though, they believe that it was for ritualistic purposes; the team of researchers also think that the alkaloids — atropine, scopolamine, and ephedrine — that were found in the hair samples came from certain plants of the nightshade family.

According to the researchers (in their statement via media release), “The presence of these alkaloids may have been due to consumption of some nightshade plants, such as mandrake (Mandragora autumnalis), henbane (Hyoscyamus albus) or thorn apple (Datura stramonium), and joint pine (Ephedra fragilis),” and when these are ingested, a person can experience hallucinations, altered sensory perceptions, and, sometimes, delirium.

Should I get high on Mother Nature’s supply?

When it comes to getting high on hallucinogens, it may not be that difficult to find logic and reasoning for wanting to try it out yourself. Hey, if the Europeans who lived 3,000 years ago did it, why not, right? But not so fast! — the legality and decriminalization of drugs with psychedelic properties are still in the talks! Right now, the majority of states still consider hallucinogenic drugs illegal.

However, in California, Oakland and Santa Cruz decriminalized “entheogenic plants and fungi” last 2019 and 2020. This means peyote, ibogaine, mescaline, and dimethyltryptamine (DMT) are decriminalized. However, on a statewide level, California, overall, still hasn’t decriminalized or legalized psychedelic drugs — it’s still considered a “Schedule I” drug under the state and federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Fortunately, since this is The Golden State, a good number of residents consider themselves to be “progressive” kinds of people — and it’s evident as there are lots of Californians who advocate having psychedelic drugs decriminalized or legalized. Therefore, until then, you’re probably better off waiting for its approval before getting your hands on hallucinogens.

But, how dangerous are psychedelics?

Psychedelic drugs aren’t considered to be the most dangerous types of drugs out there. Still, that doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong when trying them. Even though plenty of those who tried hallucinogens claim to have had a euphoric and enlightening experience, trying it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure — and that wouldn’t be too safe for those with cardiovascular disease/s. It can also cause hallucinations that can lead to psychosis — which isn’t advisable if you already have anxiety or other mental illnesses.

Additionally, taking hallucinogens won’t do you any good if you’re operating heavy machinery or if you have to drive a vehicle. And since it still hasn’t been legalized or decriminalized (in most states and on a nationwide scale), psychedelic drugs aren’t safe for you to possess or get high on — since you can get apprehended or charged with for possessing illegal substance/s.


We’re yet to discover all that needs to be known during the Bronze Age. Fortunately, we have countless scientists and researchers who are passionate and dedicated enough to unravel some parts of mankind’s history — one of their recent discoveries was that Es Càrritx people participated in rituals, and they got high on hallucinogens as a part of their practice!

It may be tempting to get high on hallucinogens like our ancestors. However, they had “cave raves” back when the rules and laws were different — and probably non-existent! Therefore, as a person from the present day, it’s best that you follow the current laws — as the country still hasn’t legalized or decriminalized psychedelics.

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