Review: Volume 26 - Ancient History

The headings of Mary Beard’s notes give a taste of this astonishing book: Bad Breath, Intestinal Parasites, Performing Monkeys, One-way Streets, Kosher Food, Water Shortages. The Temple of Isis serves to bring in multiculturalism. The House of the Menander tells how a house worked. At the Suburban Baths we go from communal bathing to hygiene to erotica. 154 writing tablets from the House of Caecilius Jucundus detail the accounts of its owner. A fast-food joint on the Via dell’ Abbondanza introduces food and drink and diets and street life. These are just a few of the strands that make up an extraordinary and involving portrait of an ancient town, its life and its continuing re-discovery, by Britain’s leading classicist.

What Role Did Gaul Play in Ancient History?

The quick answer is ancient France. This is too simplistic, though, since the area that was Gaul extends into what are the modern neighboring countries. Generally, Gaul is considered the home, from about the eighth century B.C., of ancient Celts who spoke a Gallic language. People known as Ligurians had lived there before the Celts migrated from more eastern Europe. Some areas of Gaul had been colonized by the Greeks, especially Massilia, modern Marseilles.

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European traders had established outposts in the Indian subcontinent by the 17th century. Through overwhelming military strength, the East India Company fought and annexed local kingdoms and established themselves as the dominant force by the 18th century. Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858 led the British Crown to assume direct control of India. In the decades following, civic society gradually emerged across India, most notably the Indian National Congress Party, formed in 1885. [5] [6] : 123 The period after World War I was marked by colonial reforms such as the Montagu–Chelmsford Reforms, but it also witnessed the enactment of the unpopular Rowlatt Act and calls for self-rule by Indian activists. The discontent of this period crystallised into nationwide non-violent movements of non-cooperation and civil disobedience, led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. [6] : 167

During the 1930s, the reform was gradually legislated by the British Congress won victories in the resulting elections. [6] : 195–197 The next decade was beset with political turmoil: Indian participation in World War II, the Congress' final push for non-cooperation, and an upsurge of Muslim nationalism led by the All-India Muslim League. The escalating political tension was capped by Independence in 1947. The jubilation was tempered by the bloody partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan. [6] : 203

Independence Day before Independence Edit

At the 1929 Lahore session of the Indian National Congress, the Purna Swaraj declaration, or "Declaration of the Independence of India" was promulgated, [7] and 26 January 1930 was declared as Independence Day at that time. [7] The Congress called on people to pledge themselves to civil disobedience and "to carry out the Congress instructions issued from time to time" until India attained complete independence. [8] Celebration of such an Independence Day was envisioned to stoke nationalistic fervour among Indian citizens, and to force the British government to consider granting independence. [9] : 19 The Congress observed 26 January as the Independence Day between 1930 and 1946. [10] [11] The celebration was marked by meetings where the attendants took the "pledge of independence". [9] : 19–20 Jawaharlal Nehru described in his autobiography that such meetings were peaceful, solemn, and "without any speeches or exhortation". [12] Gandhi envisaged that besides the meetings, the day would be spent " . in doing some constructive work, whether it is spinning, or service of 'untouchables,' or reunion of Hindus and Mussalmans, or prohibition work, or even all these together". [13] Following actual independence in 1947, the Constitution of India came into effect on and from 26 January 1950 since then 26 January is celebrated as Republic Day.

Immediate background Edit

In 1946, the Labour government in Britain, its exchequer exhausted by the recently concluded World War II, realised that it had neither the mandate at home, the international support nor the reliability of native forces for continuing to maintain control in an increasingly restless India. [6] : 203 [14] [15] [16] On 20 February 1947, Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced that the British government would grant full self-governance to British India by June 1948 at the latest. [17]

The new viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, advanced the date for the transfer of power, believing the continuous contention between the Congress and the Muslim League might lead to a collapse of the interim government. [18] He chose the second anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, 15 August, as the date of power transfer. [18] The British government announced on 3 June 1947 that it had accepted the idea of partitioning British India into two states [17] the successor governments would be given dominion status and would have an implicit right to secede from the British Commonwealth. The Indian Independence Act 1947 (10 & 11 Geo 6 c. 30) of the Parliament of the United Kingdom partitioned British India into the two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan (including what is now Bangladesh) with effect from 15 August 1947, and granted complete legislative authority upon the respective constituent assemblies of the new countries. [19] The Act received royal assent on 18 July 1947.

Partition and independence Edit

Millions of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu refugees trekked the newly drawn borders in the months surrounding independence. [20] In Punjab, where the borders divided the Sikh regions in halves, massive bloodshed followed in Bengal and Bihar, where Mahatma Gandhi's presence assuaged communal tempers, the violence was mitigated. In all, between 250,000 and 1,000,000 people on both sides of the new borders died in the violence. [21] While the entire nation was celebrating the Independence Day, Gandhi stayed in Calcutta in an attempt to stem the carnage. [22] On 14 August 1947, the Independence Day of Pakistan, the new Dominion of Pakistan came into being Muhammad Ali Jinnah was sworn in as its first Governor General in Karachi.

The Constituent Assembly of India met for its fifth session at 11 pm on 14 August in the Constitution Hall in New Delhi. [23] The session was chaired by the president Rajendra Prasad. In this session, Jawaharlal Nehru delivered the Tryst with Destiny speech proclaiming India's independence.

Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history when we step out from the old to the new when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.

The members of the Assembly formally took the pledge of being in the service of the country. A group of women, representing the women of India, formally presented the national flag to the assembly.

The Dominion of India became an independent country as official ceremonies took place in New Delhi. Nehru assumed office as the first prime minister, and the viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, continued as its first governor general. [25] : 6 Gandhi's name was invoked by crowds celebrating the occasion Gandhi himself however took no part in the official events. Instead, he marked the day with a 24-hour fast, during which he spoke to a crowd in Calcutta, encouraging peace between Hindus and Muslims. [25] : 10

The day's programme for 15 August 1947 [25] : 7

Independence Day, one of the three National holidays in India (the other two being the Republic Day on 26 January and Mahatma Gandhi's birthday on 2 October), is observed in all Indian states and union territories. On the eve of Independence Day, the President of India delivers the "Address to the Nation". On 15 August, the Prime Minister hoists the Indian flag on the ramparts of the historical site of Red Fort in Delhi. Twenty-one gun shots are fired in honour of the solemn occasion. [26] In his speech, the Prime Minister highlights the past year's achievements, raises important issues and calls for further development. He pays tribute to the leaders of the Indian independence movement. The Indian national anthem, "Jana Gana Mana", is sung. The speech is followed by a march past of divisions of the Indian Armed Forces and paramilitary forces. Parades and pageants showcase scenes from the independence struggle and India's diverse cultural traditions. Similar events take place in state capitals where the Chief Ministers of individual states unfurl the national flag, followed by parades and pageants. [27] [28] Until 1973, the Governor of the State hoisted the National Flag at the State capital. In February 1974, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi took up the issue with then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that the Chief Ministers, like the Prime Minister, should be allowed to hoist the national flag on Independence Day. Since 1974, Chief Ministers of the respective states have been allowed to hoist the national flag on Independence Day. [29] [30]

Flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programmes take place in governmental and non-governmental institutions throughout the country. [31] Schools and colleges conduct flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural events. Major government buildings are often adorned with strings of lights. [32] In Delhi and some other cities, kite flying adds to the occasion. [26] [33] National flags of different sizes are used abundantly to symbolise allegiance to the country. [34] Citizens adorn their clothing, wristbands, cars, household accessories with replicas of the tri-colour. [34] Over a period of time, the celebration has changed emphasis from nationalism to a broader celebration of all things India. [35] [36]

The Indian diaspora celebrates Independence Day around the world with parades and pageants, particularly in regions with higher concentrations of Indian immigrants. [37] In some locations, such as New York and other US cities, 15 August has become "India Day" among the diaspora and the local populace. Pageants celebrate "India Day" either on 15 August or an adjoining weekend day. [38]

As early as three years after independence, the Naga National Council called for a boycott of Independence Day in northeast India. [39] Separatist protests in this region intensified in the 1980s calls for boycotts and terrorist attacks by insurgent organisations such as the United Liberation Front of Assam and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, marred celebrations. [40] With increasing insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir from the late 1980s, [41] separatist protesters boycotted Independence Day there with bandh (strikes), use of black flags and by flag burning. [42] [43] [44] Terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Jaish-e-Mohammed have issued threats, and have carried out attacks around Independence Day. [45] Boycotting of the celebration has also been advocated by insurgent Maoist rebel organisations. [46] [47]

In the anticipation of terrorist attacks, particularly from militants, security measures are intensified, especially in major cities such as Delhi and Mumbai and in troubled states such as Jammu and Kashmir. [48] [49] The airspace around the Red Fort is declared a no-fly zone to prevent aerial attacks [50] and additional police forces are deployed in other cities. [51]

On Independence Day and Republic Day, patriotic songs in regional languages are broadcast on television and radio channels. [52] They are also played alongside flag hoisting ceremonies. [52] Patriotic films are broadcast. [31] Over the decades, according to The Times of India, the number of such films broadcast has decreased as channels report that audiences are oversaturated with patriotic films. [53] The population belonging to Generation Y often combine nationalism with popular culture during the celebrations. This mixture is exemplified by outfits and savouries dyed with the tricolour and garments that represent India's various cultural traditions. [35] [54] Shops often offer Independence Day sales promotions. [55] [56] Some news reports have decried the commercialism. [55] [57] [58] Indian Postal Service publishes commemorative stamps depicting independence movement leaders, nationalistic themes and defence-related themes on 15 August. [59]

Independence and partition inspired literary and other artistic creations. [60] Such creations mostly describe the human cost of partition, limiting the holiday to a small part of their narrative. [61] [62] Salman Rushdie's novel Midnight's Children (1980), which won the Booker Prize and the Booker of Bookers, wove its narrative around children born at midnight of 14–15 August 1947 with magical abilities. [62] Freedom at Midnight (1975) is a non-fiction work by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre that chronicled the events surrounding the first Independence Day celebrations in 1947. Few films centre on the moment of independence, [63] [64] [65] instead highlighting the circumstances of partition and its aftermath. [63] [66] [67] On the Internet, Google has been commemorating Independence Day of India since 2003 with a special doodle on its Indian homepage. [68]



Medical cannabis, or medical marijuana, can refer to the use of cannabis and its cannabinoids to treat disease or improve symptoms however, there is no single agreed-upon definition. [44] [45] The rigorous scientific study of cannabis as a medicine has been hampered by production restrictions and by the fact that it is classified as an illegal drug by many governments. [46] There is limited evidence suggesting cannabis can be used to reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, to improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, or to treat chronic pain and muscle spasms. [47] [48] [49] Its use for other medical applications is insufficient for drawing conclusions about safety or efficacy.

Short-term use increases the risk of both minor and major adverse effects. [48] Common side effects include dizziness, feeling tired and vomiting. [48] The long-term effects of cannabis are not clear. [48] There are concerns surrounding memory and cognition problems, risk of addiction, risk of schizophrenia in young people, and the risk of children taking it by accident. [47]


Cannabis has psychoactive and physiological effects when consumed. [50] The immediate desired effects from consuming cannabis include relaxation and euphoria (the "high" or "stoned" feeling), a general alteration of conscious perception, increased awareness of sensation, increased libido [25] and distortions in the perception of time and space. At higher doses, effects can include altered body image, auditory and/or visual illusions, pseudohallucinations and ataxia from selective impairment of polysynaptic reflexes. [ citation needed ] In some cases, cannabis can lead to dissociative states such as depersonalization [51] [52] and derealization. [53]

Some immediate undesired side effects include a decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor skills and reddening of the eyes. [54] Aside from a subjective change in perception and mood, the most common short-term physical and neurological effects include increased heart rate, increased appetite and consumption of food, lowered blood pressure, impairment of short-term and working memory, [55] [56] psychomotor coordination, and concentration. Some users may experience an episode of acute psychosis, which usually abates after six hours, but in rare instances, heavy users may find the symptoms continuing for many days. [57]

A reduced quality of life is associated with heavy cannabis use, although the relationship is inconsistent and weaker than for tobacco and other substances. [58] The direction of cause and effect, however, is unclear. [58]


Cannabis has held sacred status in several religions and has served as an entheogen – a chemical substance used in religious, shamanic, or spiritual contexts [59] – in the Indian subcontinent since the Vedic period dating back to approximately 1500 BCE, but perhaps as far back as 2000 BCE. There are several references in Greek mythology to a powerful drug that eliminated anguish and sorrow. Herodotus wrote about early ceremonial practices by the Scythians, thought to have occurred from the 5th to 2nd century BCE. In modern culture, the spiritual use of cannabis has been spread by the disciples of the Rastafari movement who use cannabis as a sacrament and as an aid to meditation. The earliest known reports regarding the sacred status of cannabis in the Indian subcontinent come from the Atharva Veda, estimated to have been composed sometime around 1400 BCE. [60]

Available forms

Cannabis is consumed in many different ways, [61] all of which involve heating to decarboxylate THCA in the plant into THC. [62]

    , which typically involves burning and inhaling vaporized cannabinoids ("smoke") from small pipes, bongs (portable versions of hookahs with a water chamber), paper-wrapped joints or tobacco-leaf-wrapped blunts, and other items. [63] , which heats any form of cannabis to 165–190 °C (329–374 °F), [64] causing the active ingredients to evaporate into vapor without burning the plant material (the boiling point of THC is 157 °C (315 °F) at atmospheric pressure). [65] , which contains relatively small concentrations of THC because THC is an oil (lipophilic) and is only slightly water-soluble (with a solubility of 2.8 mg per liter). [66] Cannabis tea is made by first adding a saturated fat to hot water (e.g. cream or any milk except skim) with a small amount of cannabis. [67] , where cannabis is added as an ingredient to one of a variety of foods, including butter and baked goods. In India it is commonly made into a beverage, bhang. , typically containing cannabis oil, and other dietary supplement products, for which some 220 were approved in Canada in 2018. [68]

Short term

Acute effects may include anxiety and panic, impaired attention and memory, an increased risk of psychotic symptoms, [b] the inability to think clearly, and an increased risk of accidents. [72] [73] [23] Cannabis impairs a person's driving ability, and THC was the illicit drug most frequently found in the blood of drivers who have been involved in vehicle crashes. Those with THC in their system are from three to seven times more likely to be the cause of the accident than those who had not used either cannabis or alcohol, although its role is not necessarily causal because THC stays in the bloodstream for days to weeks after intoxication. [74] [75] [c]

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there were 455,000 emergency room visits associated with cannabis use in 2011. These statistics include visits in which the patient was treated for a condition induced by or related to recent cannabis use. The drug use must be "implicated" in the emergency department visit, but does not need to be the direct cause of the visit. Most of the illicit drug emergency room visits involved multiple drugs. [78] In 129,000 cases, cannabis was the only implicated drug. [79] [80]

The short term effects of cannabis can be altered if it has been laced with opioid drugs such as heroin or fentanyl. [81] The added drugs are meant to enhance the psychoactive properties, add to its weight, and increase profitability, despite the increased danger of overdose. [82] [83] [d]

Long term

Heavy, long-term exposure to marijuana may have biologically-based physical, mental, behavioral and social health consequences. It may be "associated with diseases of the liver (particularly with co-existing hepatitis C), lungs, heart, and vasculature". [85] Mothers who used marijuana during pregnancy have children with elevated levels of depression, hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. [86] It is recommended that cannabis use be stopped before and during pregnancy as it can result in negative outcomes for both the mother and baby. [87] [88] However, maternal use of marijuana during pregnancy does not appear to be associated with low birth weight or early delivery after controlling for tobacco use and other confounding factors. [89] A 2014 review found that while cannabis use may be less harmful than alcohol use, the recommendation to substitute it for problematic drinking was premature without further study. [90] Various surveys conducted between 2015 and 2019 found that many users of cannabis substitute it for prescription drugs (including opioids), alcohol, and tobacco most of those who used it in place of alcohol or tobacco either reduced or stopped their intake of the latter substances. [91]

A limited number of studies have examined the effects of cannabis smoking on the respiratory system. [92] Chronic heavy marijuana smoking is associated with coughing, production of sputum, wheezing, and other symptoms of chronic bronchitis. [72] The available evidence does not support a causal relationship between cannabis use and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. [93] Short-term use of cannabis is associated with bronchodilation. [94] Other side effects of cannabis use include cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). [95]

Cannabis smoke contains thousands of organic and inorganic chemical compounds. This tar is chemically similar to that found in tobacco smoke, [96] and over fifty known carcinogens have been identified in cannabis smoke, [97] including nitrosamines, reactive aldehydes, and polycylic hydrocarbons, including benz[a]pyrene. [98] Cannabis smoke is also inhaled more deeply than tobacco smoke. [99] As of 2015 [update] , there is no consensus regarding whether cannabis smoking is associated with an increased risk of cancer. [100] Light and moderate use of cannabis is not believed to increase risk of lung or upper airway cancer. Evidence for causing these cancers is mixed concerning heavy, long-term use. In general there are far lower risks of pulmonary complications for regular cannabis smokers when compared with those of tobacco. [101] A 2015 review found an association between cannabis use and the development of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs), particularly non-seminoma TGCTs. [102] Another 2015 meta-analysis found no association between lifetime cannabis use and risk of head or neck cancer. [103] Combustion products are not present when using a vaporizer, consuming THC in pill form, or consuming cannabis foods. [104]

There is concern that cannabis may contribute to cardiovascular disease, [105] but as of 2018, evidence of this relationship was unclear. [106] Research in these events is complicated because cannabis is often used in conjunction with tobacco, and drugs such as alcohol and cocaine that are known to have cardiovascular risk factors. [107] Smoking cannabis has also been shown to increase the risk of myocardial infarction by 4.8 times for the 60 minutes after consumption. [108]


Although global abnormalities in white matter and grey matter are not associated with heavy cannabis use, reduced hippocampal volume is consistently found. [109] Amygdala abnormalities are sometimes reported, although findings are inconsistent. [110] [111] [112]

Cannabis use is associated with increased recruitment of task-related areas, such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is thought to reflect compensatory activity due to reduced processing efficiency. [112] [111] [113] Cannabis use is also associated with downregulation of CB1 receptors. The magnitude of down regulation is associated with cumulative cannabis exposure, and is reversed after one month of abstinence. [114] [115] [116] There is limited evidence that chronic cannabis use can reduce levels of glutamate metabolites in the human brain. [117]


A 2015 meta-analysis found that, although a longer period of abstinence was associated with smaller magnitudes of impairment, both retrospective and prospective memory were impaired in cannabis users. The authors concluded that some, but not all, of the deficits associated with cannabis use were reversible. [118] A 2012 meta-analysis found that deficits in most domains of cognition persisted beyond the acute period of intoxication, but was not evident in studies where subjects were abstinent for more than 25 days. [119] Few high quality studies have been performed on the long-term effects of cannabis on cognition, and the results were generally inconsistent. [120] Furthermore, effect sizes of significant findings were generally small. [119] One review concluded that, although most cognitive faculties were unimpaired by cannabis use, residual deficits occurred in executive functions. [121] Impairments in executive functioning are most consistently found in older populations, which may reflect heavier cannabis exposure, or developmental effects associated with adolescent cannabis use. [122] One review found three prospective cohort studies that examined the relationship between self reported cannabis use and intelligence quotient (IQ). The study following the largest number of heavy cannabis users reported that IQ declined between ages 7–13 and age 38. Poorer school performance and increased incidence of leaving school early were both associated with cannabis use, although a causal relationship was not established. [114] Cannabis users demonstrated increased activity in task-related brain regions, consistent with reduced processing efficiency. [123]


At an epidemiological level, a dose–response relationship exists between cannabis use and increased risk of psychosis [28] [124] [125] [126] and earlier onset of psychosis. [127] Although the epidemiological association is robust, evidence to prove a causal relationship is lacking. [128] But a biological causal pathway is plausible, especially if there is a genetic predisposition to mental illness, in which case cannabis may be a trigger. [129] [ better source needed ]

It is not clear whether cannabis use affects the rate of suicide. [130] [131] Cannabis may also increase the risk of depression, but insufficient research has been performed to draw a conclusion. [132] [125] Cannabis use is associated with increased risk of anxiety disorders, although causality has not been established. [133]

A February 2019 review found that cannabis use during adolescence was associated with an increased risk of developing depression and suicidal behavior later in life, while finding no effect on anxiety. [134]

Reinforcement disorders

About 9% of those who experiment with marijuana eventually become dependent according to DSM-IV (1994) criteria. [80] A 2013 review estimates daily use is associated with a 10–20% rate of dependence. [47] The highest risk of cannabis dependence is found in those with a history of poor academic achievement, deviant behavior in childhood and adolescence, rebelliousness, poor parental relationships, or a parental history of drug and alcohol problems. [135] Of daily users, about 50% experience withdrawal upon cessation of use (i.e. are dependent), characterized by sleep problems, irritability, dysphoria, and craving. [114] Cannabis withdrawal is less severe than withdrawal from alcohol. [136]

According to DSM-V criteria, 9% of those who are exposed to cannabis develop cannabis use disorder, compared to 20% for cocaine, 23% for alcohol and 68% for nicotine. Cannabis use disorder in the DSM-V involves a combination of DSM-IV criteria for cannabis abuse and dependence, plus the addition of craving, without the criterion related to legal troubles. [114]

THC, the principal psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant, has low toxicity. The dose of THC needed to kill 50% of tested rodents is extremely high. Cannabis has not been reported to cause fatal overdose in humans, and it would be extremely difficult to consume enough natural cannabis to cause an overdose using traditional methods like smoking it. This renders the risk of accidental overdose a practical impossibility, unless purified THC is involved. [130]

Mechanism of action

The high lipid-solubility of cannabinoids results in their persisting in the body for long periods of time. [137] Even after a single administration of THC, detectable levels of THC can be found in the body for weeks or longer (depending on the amount administered and the sensitivity of the assessment method). [137] Investigators have suggested that this is an important factor in marijuana's effects, perhaps because cannabinoids may accumulate in the body, particularly in the lipid membranes of neurons. [138]

Researchers confirmed that THC exerts its most prominent effects via its actions on two types of cannabinoid receptors, the CB1 receptor and the CB2 receptor, both of which are G protein-coupled receptors. [139] The CB1 receptor is found primarily in the brain as well as in some peripheral tissues, and the CB2 receptor is found primarily in peripheral tissues, but is also expressed in neuroglial cells. [140] THC appears to alter mood and cognition through its agonist actions on the CB1 receptors, which inhibit a secondary messenger system (adenylate cyclase) in a dose-dependent manner.

Via CB1 receptor activation, THC indirectly increases dopamine release and produces psychotropic effects. [141] CBD also acts as an allosteric modulator of the μ- and δ-opioid receptors. [142] THC also potentiates the effects of the glycine receptors. [143] It is unknown if or how these actions contribute to the effects of cannabis. [144]

Detection in body fluids

THC and its major (inactive) metabolite, THC-COOH, can be measured in blood, urine, hair, oral fluid or sweat using chromatographic techniques as part of a drug use testing program or a forensic investigation of a traffic or other criminal offense. [57] The concentrations obtained from such analyses can often be helpful in distinguishing active use from passive exposure, elapsed time since use, and extent or duration of use. These tests cannot, however, distinguish authorized cannabis smoking for medical purposes from unauthorized recreational smoking. [145] Commercial cannabinoid immunoassays, often employed as the initial screening method when testing physiological specimens for marijuana presence, have different degrees of cross-reactivity with THC and its metabolites. [146] Urine contains predominantly THC-COOH, while hair, oral fluid and sweat contain primarily THC. [57] Blood may contain both substances, with the relative amounts dependent on the recency and extent of usage. [57]

The Duquenois–Levine test is commonly used as a screening test in the field, but it cannot definitively confirm the presence of cannabis, as a large range of substances have been shown to give false positives. [147] Researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice reported that dietary zinc supplements can mask the presence of THC and other drugs in urine. [148] However, a 2013 study conducted by researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine refute the possibility of self-administered zinc producing false-negative urine drug tests. [149]

CBD is a 5-HT1A receptor agonist, which is under laboratory research to determine if it has an anxiolytic effect. [150] It is often claimed that sativa strains provide a more stimulating psychoactive high while indica strains are more sedating with a body high. [151] However, this is disputed by researchers. [152]

Psychoactive ingredients

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), "the amount of THC present in a cannabis sample is generally used as a measure of cannabis potency." [153] The three main forms of cannabis products are the flower/fruit, resin (hashish), and oil (hash oil). The UNODC states that cannabis often contains 5% THC content, resin "can contain up to 20% THC content", and that "Cannabis oil may contain more than 60% THC content." [153]

A 2012 review found that the THC content in marijuana had increased worldwide from 1970 to 2009. [154] It is unclear, however, whether the increase in THC content has caused people to consume more THC or if users adjust based on the potency of the cannabis. It is likely that the higher THC content allows people to ingest less tar. At the same time, CBD levels in seized samples have lowered, in part because of the desire to produce higher THC levels and because more illegal growers cultivate indoors using artificial lights. This helps avoid detection but reduces the CBD production of the plant. [155]

Australia's National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC) states that the buds (infructescences) of the female cannabis plant contain the highest concentration of THC, followed by the leaves. The stalks and seeds have "much lower THC levels". [156] The UN states that the leaves can contain ten times less THC than the buds, and the stalks one hundred times less THC. [153]

After revisions to cannabis scheduling in the UK, the government moved cannabis back from a class C to a class B drug. A purported reason was the appearance of high potency cannabis. They believe skunk accounts for between 70 and 80% of samples seized by police [157] (despite the fact that skunk can sometimes be incorrectly mistaken for all types of herbal cannabis). [158] [159] Extracts such as hashish and hash oil typically contain more THC than high potency cannabis infructescences. [160]

Laced cannabis

Hemp buds (or low-potency cannabis buds) laced with synthetic cannabinoids started to be sold as cannabis street drug in 2020. [161] [162] [163] [164]

Dried flower buds (marijuana)


Marijuana or marihuana (herbal cannabis) [20] consists of the dried flowers and fruits and subtending leaves and stems of the female Cannabis plant. [165] [166] [167] [168] This is the most widely consumed form, [168] containing 3% to 20% THC, [169] with reports of up to 33% THC. [170] This is the stock material from which all other preparations are derived. Although herbal cannabis and industrial hemp derive from the same species and contain the psychoactive component (THC), they are distinct strains with unique biochemical compositions and uses. Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of CBD, which gives lesser psychoactive effects. [171] [172]

Kief is a powder, rich in trichomes, [173] which can be sifted from the leaves, flowers and fruits of cannabis plants and either consumed in powder form or compressed to produce cakes of hashish. [174] The word "kif" derives from colloquial Arabic كيف kēf / kīf, meaning pleasure. [175]


Hashish (also spelled hasheesh, hashisha, or simply hash) is a concentrated resin cake or ball produced from pressed kief, the detached trichomes and fine material that falls off cannabis fruits, flowers and leaves. [176] or from scraping the resin from the surface of the plants and rolling it into balls. It varies in color from black to golden brown depending upon purity and variety of cultivar it was obtained from. [177] It can be consumed orally or smoked, and is also vaporized, or 'vaped'. [178] The term "rosin hash" refers to a high quality solventless product obtained through heat and pressure. [179]


Cannabinoids can be extracted from cannabis plant matter using high-proof spirits (often grain alcohol) to create a tincture, often referred to as "green dragon". [180] Nabiximols is a branded product name from a tincture manufacturing pharmaceutical company. [181]

Hash oil

Hash oil is a resinous matrix of cannabinoids obtained from the Cannabis plant by solvent extraction, [182] formed into a hardened or viscous mass. [183] Hash oil can be the most potent of the main cannabis products because of its high level of psychoactive compound per its volume, which can vary depending on the plant's mix of essential oils and psychoactive compounds. [184] Butane and supercritical carbon dioxide hash oil have become popular in recent years. [185]


There are many varieties of cannabis infusions owing to the variety of non-volatile solvents used. [186] The plant material is mixed with the solvent and then pressed and filtered to express the oils of the plant into the solvent. Examples of solvents used in this process are cocoa butter, dairy butter, cooking oil, glycerine, and skin moisturizers. Depending on the solvent, these may be used in cannabis foods or applied topically. [187]

Medical use

Medical marijuana refers to the use of the Cannabis plant as a physician-recommended herbal therapy as well as synthetic [188] THC and cannabinoids. So far, the medical use of cannabis is legal only in a limited number of territories, including Canada, [68] Belgium, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, [189] Spain, and many U.S. states. This usage generally requires a prescription, and distribution is usually done within a framework defined by local laws. There is evidence supporting the use of cannabis or its derivatives in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, neuropathic pain, and multiple sclerosis. Lower levels of evidence support its use for AIDS wasting syndrome, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, and glaucoma. [80]

Ancient history

Cannabis is indigenous to Central Asia [190] and the Indian subcontinent, [191] and its uses for fabric and rope dates back to the Neolithic age in China and Japan. [192] [193] It is unclear when cannabis first became known for its psychoactive properties. The oldest archeological evidence for the burning of cannabis was found in Romanian kurgans dated 3,500 BC, and scholars suggest that the drug was first used in ritual ceremonies by Proto-Indo-European tribes living in the Pontic-Caspian steppe during the Chalcolithic period, a custom they eventually spread throughout western Eurasia during the Indo-European migrations. [194] [195] Some research suggests that the ancient Indo-Iranian drug soma, mentioned in the Vedas, sometimes contained cannabis. This is based on the discovery of a basin containing cannabis in a shrine of the second millennium BC in Turkmenistan. [196]

Cannabis was known to the ancient Assyrians, who discovered its psychoactive properties through the Iranians. [197] Using it in some religious ceremonies, they called it qunubu (meaning "way to produce smoke"), a probable origin of the modern word "cannabis". [198] The Iranians also introduced cannabis to the Scythians, Thracians and Dacians, whose shamans (the kapnobatai—"those who walk on smoke/clouds") burned cannabis infructescences to induce trance. [199] The plant was used in China before 2800 BC, and found therapeutic use in India by 1000 BC, where it was used in food and drink, including bhang. [200] [201]

Cannabis has an ancient history of ritual use and is found in pharmacological cults around the world. The earliest evidence of cannabis smoking has been found in the 2,500-year-old tombs of Jirzankal Cemetery in the Pamir Mountains in Western China, where cannabis residue were found in burners with charred pebbles possibly used during funeral rituals. [202] [37] Hemp seeds discovered by archaeologists at Pazyryk suggest early ceremonial practices like eating by the Scythians occurred during the 5th to 2nd century BC, confirming previous historical reports by Herodotus. [203] It was used by Muslims in various Sufi orders as early as the Mamluk period, for example by the Qalandars. [204] Smoking pipes uncovered in Ethiopia and carbon-dated to around c. AD 1320 were found to have traces of cannabis. [205]

Modern history

Following an 1836–1840 travel in North Africa and the Middle East, French physician Jacques-Joseph Moreau wrote on the psychological effects of cannabis use he was a member of Paris' Club des Hashischins. [ citation needed ] In 1842, Irish physician William Brooke O'Shaughnessy, who had studied the drug while working as a medical officer in Bengal with the East India Company, brought a quantity of cannabis with him on his return to Britain, provoking renewed interest in the West. [206] Examples of classic literature of the period featuring cannabis include Les paradis artificiels (1860) by Charles Baudelaire and The Hasheesh Eater (1857) by Fitz Hugh Ludlow.

Cannabis was criminalized in various countries beginning in the 19th century. The colonial government of Mauritius banned cannabis in 1840 over concerns on its effect on Indian indentured workers [207] the same occurred in Singapore in 1870. [208] In the United States, the first restrictions on sale of cannabis came in 1906 (in the District of Columbia). [209] Canada criminalized cannabis in The Opium and Narcotic Drug Act, 1923, [210] before any reports of the use of the drug in Canada, but eventually legalized its consumption for recreational and medicinal purposes in 2018. [68]

In 1925, a compromise was made at an international conference in The Hague about the International Opium Convention that banned exportation of "Indian hemp" to countries that had prohibited its use, and requiring importing countries to issue certificates approving the importation and stating that the shipment was required "exclusively for medical or scientific purposes". It also required parties to "exercise an effective control of such a nature as to prevent the illicit international traffic in Indian hemp and especially in the resin". [211] [212] In the United States in 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act was passed, [213] and prohibited the production of hemp in addition to cannabis.

In 1972, the Dutch government divided drugs into more- and less-dangerous categories, with cannabis being in the lesser category. Accordingly, possession of 30 grams (1.1 oz) or less was made a misdemeanor. [214] Cannabis has been available for recreational use in coffee shops since 1976. [215] Cannabis products are only sold openly in certain local "coffeeshops" and possession of up to 5 grams (0.18 oz) for personal use is decriminalized, however: the police may still confiscate it, which often happens in car checks near the border. Other types of sales and transportation are not permitted, although the general approach toward cannabis was lenient even before official decriminalization. [216] [217] [218]

In Uruguay, President Jose Mujica signed legislation to legalize recreational cannabis in December 2013, making Uruguay the first country in the modern era to legalize cannabis. In August 2014, Uruguay legalized growing up to six plants at home, as well as the formation of growing clubs, and a state-controlled marijuana dispensary regime.

As of 17 October 2018 when recreational use of cannabis was legalized in Canada, dietary supplements for human use and veterinary health products containing not more than 10 parts per million of THC extract were approved for marketing Nabiximols (as Sativex) is used as a prescription drug in Canada. [68]

The United Nations' World Drug Report stated that cannabis "was the world's most widely produced, trafficked, and consumed drug in the world in 2010", and estimated between 128 million and 238 million users globally in 2015. [219] [220]

The main component of cannabis is THC formed from decarboxylation of THCA. Raw leaf is not psychoactive because cannabinoids are in the form of carboxylic acids. The major cannabinoid acids of raw cannabis are THCA, CBGA, CBDA, CBCA, CBGVA, THCVA, CBDVA, CBCVA. They are precursors to cannabinoids. On decarboxylation the following major cannabinoids THC, CBD, CBC, CBCV, CBDV, CBGV, THCV are formed. On more degradation CBN is formed. [221] Cannabis is rich in terpenes too. The most common terpenes in cannabis are myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene, terpinolene, pinene, humulene, ocimene and linalool. [222]

Legal status

Since the beginning of the 20th century, most countries have enacted laws against the cultivation, possession or transfer of cannabis. [223] These laws have had an adverse effect on cannabis cultivation for non-recreational purposes, but there are many regions where handling of cannabis is legal or licensed. Many jurisdictions have lessened the penalties for possession of small quantities of cannabis so that it is punished by confiscation and sometimes a fine, rather than imprisonment, focusing more on those who traffic the drug on the black market.

In some areas where cannabis use had been historically tolerated, new restrictions were instituted, such as the closing of cannabis coffee shops near the borders of the Netherlands, [224] and closing of coffee shops near secondary schools in the Netherlands. [225] In Copenhagen, Denmark in 2014, mayor Frank Jensen discussed possibilities for the city to legalize cannabis production and commerce. [226]

Some jurisdictions use free voluntary treatment programs and/or mandatory treatment programs for frequent known users. Simple possession can carry long prison terms in some countries, particularly in East Asia, where the sale of cannabis may lead to a sentence of life in prison or even execution. Political parties, non-profit organizations, and causes based on the legalization of medical cannabis and/or legalizing the plant entirely (with some restrictions) have emerged in such countries as China and Thailand. [227] [228]

In December 2012, the U.S. state of Washington became the first state to officially legalize cannabis in a state law (Washington Initiative 502) (but still illegal by federal law), [229] with the state of Colorado following close behind (Colorado Amendment 64). [230] On 1 January 2013, the first marijuana "club" for private marijuana smoking (no buying or selling, however) was allowed for the first time in Colorado. [231] The California Supreme Court decided in May 2013 that local governments can ban medical marijuana dispensaries despite a state law in California that permits the use of cannabis for medical purposes. At least 180 cities across California have enacted bans in recent years. [232]

In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize growing, sale and use of cannabis. [233] After a long delay in implementing the retail component of the law, in 2017 sixteen pharmacies were authorized to sell cannabis commercially. [234] On 19 June 2018, the Canadian Senate passed a bill and the Prime Minister announced the effective legalization date as 17 October 2018. [68] [235] Canada is the second country to legalize the drug. [236]

In November 2015, Uttarakhand became the first state of India to legalize the cultivation of hemp for industrial purposes. [237] Usage within the Hindu and Buddhist cultures of the Indian subcontinent is common, with many street vendors in India openly selling products infused with cannabis, and traditional medical practitioners in Sri Lanka selling products infused with cannabis for recreational purposes and well as for religious celebrations. [238] Indian laws criminalizing cannabis date back to the colonial period. India and Sri Lanka have allowed cannabis to be taken in the context of traditional culture for recreational/celebratory purposes and also for medicinal purposes. [238]

On 17 October 2015, Australian health minister Sussan Ley presented a new law that will allow the cultivation of cannabis for scientific research and medical trials on patients. [239]

On 17 October 2018, Canada legalized cannabis for recreational adult use [240] making it the second country in the world to do so after Uruguay and the first G7 nation. [241] The Canadian Licensed Producer system aims to become the Gold Standard in the world for safe and secure cannabis production, [242] including provisions for a robust craft cannabis industry where many expect opportunities for experimenting with different strains. [243] Laws around use vary from province to province including age limits, retail structure, and growing at home. [240]

As the drug has increasingly been seen as a health issue instead of criminal behavior, marijuana has also been legalized or decriminalized in: Czech Republic, [244] Colombia, [245] [246] Ecuador, [247] [248] [249] Portugal, [250] South Africa [251] and Canada. [68] Medical marijuana was legalized in Mexico in mid-2017 legislators plan to legalize its recreational use by late 2019. [252] [253] [254]


Global estimates of drug users in 2016
(in millions of users) [255]
Substance Best
type stimulants
34.16 13.42 55.24
Cannabis 192.15 165.76 234.06
Cocaine 18.20 13.87 22.85
Ecstasy 20.57 8.99 32.34
Opiates 19.38 13.80 26.15
Opioids 34.26 27.01 44.54

In 2013, between 128 and 232 million people used cannabis (2.7% to 4.9% of the global population between the ages of 15 and 65). [34] Cannabis is by far the most widely used illicit substance. [256]

United States

Between 1973 and 1978, eleven states decriminalized marijuana. [257] In 2001, Nevada reduced marijuana possession to a misdemeanor and since 2012, several other states have decriminalized and even legalized marijuana. [257]

In 2018, almost half of the people in the United States had tried marijuana, 16% had used it in the past year, and 11% had used it in the past month. [258] In 2014, daily marijuana use amongst US college students had reached its highest level since records began in 1980, rising from 3.5% in 2007 to 5.9% in 2014 and had surpassed daily cigarette use. [259]

In the US, men are over twice as likely to use marijuana as women, and 18–29-year-olds are six times more likely to use as over-65-year-olds. [260] In 2015, a record 44% of the US population has tried marijuana in their lifetime, an increase from 38% in 2013 and 33% in 1985. [260]

Marijuana use in the United States is three times above the global average, but in line with other Western democracies. Forty-four percent of American 12th graders have tried the drug at least once, and the typical age of first-use is 16, similar to the typical age of first-use for alcohol but lower than the first-use age for other illicit drugs. [256]



Sinsemilla (Spanish for "without seed") is the dried, seedless (i.e. parthenocarpic) infructescences of female cannabis plants. Because THC production drops off once pollination occurs, the male plants (which produce little THC themselves) are eliminated before they shed pollen to prevent pollination, thus inducing the development of parthenocarpic fruits gathered in dense infructescences. Advanced cultivation techniques such as hydroponics, cloning, high-intensity artificial lighting, and the sea of green method are frequently employed as a response (in part) to prohibition enforcement efforts that make outdoor cultivation more risky.

"Skunk" refers to several named strains of potent cannabis, grown through selective breeding and sometimes hydroponics. It is a cross-breed of Cannabis sativa and C. indica (although other strains of this mix exist in abundance). Skunk cannabis potency ranges usually from 6% to 15% and rarely as high as 20%. The average THC level in coffee shops in the Netherlands is about 18–19%. [261]

The average levels of THC in cannabis sold in the United States rose dramatically between the 1970s and 2000. [262] This is disputed for various reasons, and there is little consensus as to whether this is a fact or an artifact of poor testing methodologies. [262] According to Daniel Forbes writing for, the relative strength of modern strains are likely skewed because undue weight is given to much more expensive and potent, but less prevalent, samples. [263] Some suggest that results are skewed by older testing methods that included low-THC-content plant material such as leaves in the samples, which are excluded in contemporary tests. Others believe that modern strains actually are significantly more potent than older ones. [262]


The price or street value of cannabis varies widely depending on geographic area and potency. [264] Prices and overall markets have also varied considerably over time.

    In 1997, cannabis was estimated to be overall the number four value crop in the US, and number one or two in many states, including California, New York, and Florida. This estimate is based on a value to growers of

After some U.S. states legalized cannabis, street prices began to drop. In Colorado, the price of smokable buds (infructescences) dropped 40 percent between 2014 and 2019, from $200 per ounce to $120 per ounce ($7 per gram to $4.19 per gram). [269]

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction reports that typical retail prices in Europe for cannabis varied from €2 to €20 per gram in 2008, with a majority of European countries reporting prices in the range €4–10. [270]

Gateway drug

The gateway hypothesis states that cannabis use increases the probability of trying "harder" drugs. The hypothesis has been hotly debated as it is regarded by some as the primary rationale for the United States prohibition on cannabis use. [271] [272] A Pew Research Center poll found that political opposition to marijuana use was significantly associated with concerns about the health effects and whether legalization would increase marijuana use by children. [273]

Some studies state that while there is no proof for the gateway hypothesis, [274] young cannabis users should still be considered as a risk group for intervention programs. [275] Other findings indicate that hard drug users are likely to be poly-drug users, and that interventions must address the use of multiple drugs instead of a single hard drug. [276] Almost two-thirds of the poly drug users in the 2009-2010 Scottish Crime and Justice Survey used cannabis. [277]

The gateway effect may appear due to social factors involved in using any illegal drug. Because of the illegal status of cannabis, its consumers are likely to find themselves in situations allowing them to acquaint with individuals using or selling other illegal drugs. [278] [279] Studies have shown that alcohol and tobacco may additionally be regarded as gateway drugs [280] however, a more parsimonious explanation could be that cannabis is simply more readily available (and at an earlier age) than illegal hard drugs. In turn, alcohol and tobacco are typically easier to obtain at an earlier age than is cannabis (though the reverse may be true in some areas), thus leading to the "gateway sequence" in those individuals, since they are most likely to experiment with any drug offered. [271]

A related alternative to the gateway hypothesis is the common liability to addiction (CLA) theory. It states that some individuals are, for various reasons, willing to try multiple recreational substances. The "gateway" drugs are merely those that are (usually) available at an earlier age than the harder drugs. Researchers have noted in an extensive review that it is dangerous to present the sequence of events described in gateway "theory" in causative terms as this hinders both research and intervention. [281]

In 2020, the National Institute on Drug Abuse released a study backing allegations that marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs, though not for the majority of marijuana users. [282] The National Institute on Drug Abuse determined that marijuana use is "likely to precede use of other licit and illicit substances" and that "adults who reported marijuana use during the first wave of the survey were more likely than adults who did not use marijuana to develop an alcohol use disorder within 3 years people who used marijuana and already had an alcohol use disorder at the outset were at greater risk of their alcohol use disorder worsening. Marijuana use is also linked to other substance use disorders including nicotine addiction." [282] It also reported that "These findings are consistent with the idea of marijuana as a "gateway drug." However, the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, "harder" substances. Also, cross-sensitization is not unique to marijuana. Alcohol and nicotine also prime the brain for a heightened response to other drugs and are, like marijuana, also typically used before a person progresses to other, more harmful substances." [282]

Cannabis research is challenging since the plant is illegal in most countries. [283] [284] [285] [286] [287] Research-grade samples of the drug are difficult to obtain for research purposes, unless granted under authority of national regulatory agencies, such as the US Food and Drug Administration. [288]

There are also other difficulties in researching the effects of cannabis. Many people who smoke cannabis also smoke tobacco. [289] This causes confounding factors, where questions arise as to whether the tobacco, the cannabis, or both that have caused a cancer. Another difficulty researchers have is in recruiting people who smoke cannabis into studies. Because cannabis is an illegal drug in many countries, people may be reluctant to take part in research, and if they do agree to take part, they may not say how much cannabis they actually smoke. [290]

A 2015 review found that the use of high CBD-to-THC strains of cannabis showed significantly fewer positive symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations, better cognitive function and both lower risk for developing psychosis, as well as a later age of onset of the illness, compared to cannabis with low CBD-to-THC ratios. [291] Reviews in 2019 found that research was insufficient to determine the safety and efficacy of using cannabis to treat schizophrenia, psychosis, or other mental disorders. [292] [293] There is preliminary evidence that cannabis interferes with the anticoagulant properties of prescription drugs used for treating blood clots. [294] As of 2019 [update] , the mechanisms for the anti-inflammatory and possible pain relieving effects of cannabis were not defined, and there were no governmental regulatory approvals or clinical practices for use of cannabis as a drug. [293]

Currently, Uruguay and Canada are the only countries that have fully legalized the consumption and sale of recreational cannabis nationwide. [295] [296] In the United States, 18 states, 2 territories, and the District of Columbia have legalized the recreational use of cannabis – though the drug remains illegal at the federal level. [42] Laws vary from state to state when it comes to the commercial sale. Court rulings in Georgia and South Africa have led to the legalization of cannabis consumption, but not legal sales. A policy of limited enforcement has also been adopted in many countries, in particular Spain and the Netherlands where the sale of cannabis is tolerated at licensed establishments. [297] [298] Contrary to popular belief, cannabis is not legal in the Netherlands [299] but it has been decriminalized since the 1970s. Lebanon has recently become the first Arab country to legalize the plantation of cannabis for medical use. [300]

Penalties for illegal recreational use ranges from confiscation or small fines to jail time and even death. [301] In some countries citizens can be punished if they have used the drug in another country, including Singapore and South Korea. [302] [303]

Review: Volume 26 - Ancient History - History

LeaderU note: This link takes you to the official website of the Jesus Boat Museum

SEA OF GALILEE, Israel - In January, 1986, Moshe and his brother, Yuval, gazed upon the Sea of Galilee and happened to notice an odd shaped shadow along the floor of the lake.

The Sea of Galilee was dangerously low due to a severe drought, and this was the first time Moshe and Yuval - both modern-day fisherman - were able to see the bottom of the sea so clearly.

What Moshe and Yuval saw was the outline of a sunken craft whose archaeological significance would be hailed well into the next decade.

The Israeli government issued a special order to, "lower the level of the Sea of Galilee," in order to preserve the first century boat which was found at the bottom of the sea. Rather than doing so, however, a dike was built to pump water out of the area, as the excavation team (pictured above) carefully worked to preserve the first century craft. Today, the boat may be seen at a specially built museum in Kibbutz Ginossar on the Sea of Galilee.

Indeed, to the astonishment of many, archaeologists would soon find that this ancient boat sailed the Sea of Galilee during the time of Jesus, and its features precisely match the Gospel's description of the boat owned by Peter and used by Jesus.

The first century boat is placed in a specially built conservation pool of water. A multi-year conservation process which will eventually strengthen each cell of the boat's wood with a chemical compound will allow the boat to be permanently removed from the water.

Immediately, Moshe and Yuval told Galilee archaeologist, Mendel Nun, of their discovery, and within one day, a team of excavators from the Israel Government Antiquities Authority were on the scene.

"The boat's consistency was that of wet cardboard," recalls Nun. "The problem which we faced was how to move the water-logged boat, which had remained in the lake for 2,000 years, to a nearby museum specially built for the boat's preservation."

During an exclusive interview with the Jerusalem Christian Review, Ora Cohen, head of the team which rescued the boat, recalled that "heavy equipment was brought in, a massive dike was constructed around the boat and water was pumped away from the area near the boat."

In only eleven days, the excavation of the site was completed yielding several remarkable discoveries including pottery which clearly pin-pointed the date the vessel sailed the sea: the first century A.D.

"It was most remarkable to find that the boat was of the type that Jesus and his disciples used in the first century," said biblical historian, Prof. Ory Mazar. "Indeed, the Department of Isotope Research of the Weizmann Institute in Israel estimates that the craft was originally constructed at the turn of the millennium and was definitely sailing the sea during the time of Jesus."

The boat was made mostly of cedar planking and oak frames, 26.5 feet long, 7.5 feet wide and 4.5 feet high. The stern is rounded and the bow prominent. Adaptable to both sail and oars, the boat was used primarily for fishing, but could also serve for transportation of goods and passengers.

"A vessel like this could easily have accommodated Jesus and his disciples," said Mazar. Jesus called James and John while they were in their boat tending their nets, "and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed him" (Mark 1:20).

Thus the crew included at least five men. Coincidentally, the boat which was discovered needed five men to operate.

On the day the first-century boat was discovered, archaeologist Mendal Nun (right) and archaeologist Kurt Raveh (left) stand on the shores of the sea, near the site where the boat was found. In the background, a rainbow can be seen over the Sea of Galilee. According to Orna Cohen, head of the rescue team in charge of the preservation of the boat, another rainbow was seen on the same day in which the excavation of the boat was completed.

The boat also provided clues about the time a storm arose while Jesus, with some of his disciples, crossed the lake. In Mark's version of the story, Jesus was "in the stern, asleep on the pillow" (Mark 4:37). The stern was the station of the helmsman, and the area under the stern platform would have been the most protected part of the boat. This was probably where Jesus slept. There He would have been shielded from the elements, away from the others on board.

Mark continues: "And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the pillow and they woke him and said to him, 'Master, do you not care if we perish?' And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace! Be still! And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm" (Mark 4:37-39).

The "Kinneret Boat," as it has been named, seems to match all descriptions of the boat in which Peter and Jesus Himself sailed. Since there were limited numbers of boats of this particular size sailing the sea at the time, it is possible that this boat was the one used by Peter, James, John, or Jesus.

"The boat's historical significance should not be underestimated," says Mazar who believes that "what has been found is a remarkable link to the past."

Now safely on land, the boat is housed at Kibbutz Ginossar in a specially built pool of water. Orna Cohen believes it will still be several years before the boat can be safely removed from the water.

The boat - miraculously preserved through time - "is going through a lengthy conservation process which will eventually strengthen each cell of the boat's wood with a chemical compound which will allow the boat to be permanently removed from water," said Cohen.

In the meantime, the first century boat provides visitors to Kibbutz Ginossar with the unique opportunity of stepping backward through time - when "fishers of men" sailed the Sea of Galilee nearly 2,000 years ago.

Sarah Moore is a staff reporter for the Jerusalem Christian Review.

Copyright © 1998 Jerusalem Christian Review. All rights reserved.
This article was reprinted with permission from the Jerusalem Christian Review, Volume 9, Internet Edition, Issue 3.

Law Review

The University of San Francisco Law Review is a student-run organization that publishes a journal of legal scholarship.

Since 1966, the Review has served as USF's voice in the ongoing academic debate regarding the evolution of law.

USF Law Review publishes three issues each year. Each issue is typically comprised of four articles by professors and practitioners and three student notes and/or comments. The Law Review Forum was introduced in 2014 as a new platform to bring legal academics, practitioners, and students together to discuss recent scholarship and current events impacting the legal community. All articles are subjected to a rigorous editorial process in order to strengthen substance, polish tone, and ensure citation accuracy. The Board of Editors makes all editorial and organizational decisions.

Subscriptions to the Review are held by judicial, municipal, and state libraries nationally and internationally. The Review is also available on Westlaw, Lexis, and Hein On-Line. In addition, we encourage our authors to publish drafts of their work on the Social Science Research Network. To submit to the journal, please visit USF Blogs for instructions.

VI. What Can Be Done Now?

In the absence of systemic change, there certainly are things that have been done and more can be done in the future to lessen capitalism’s negative effects on the environment and people. There is no particular reason why the United States can’t have a better social welfare system, including universal health care, as is the case in many other advanced capitalist countries. Governments can pass laws and implement regulations to curb the worst environmental problems. The same goes for the environment or for building affordable houses. A carbon tax of the kind proposed by James Hansen, in which 100 percent of the dividends go back to the public, thereby encouraging conservation while placing the burden on those with the largest carbon footprints and the most wealth, could be instituted. New coal-fired plants (without sequestration) could be blocked and existing ones closed down.52 At the world level, contraction and convergence in carbon emissions could be promoted, moving to uniform world per capita emissions, with cutbacks far deeper in the rich countries with large per capita carbon footprints.53 The problem is that very powerful forces are strongly opposed to these measures. Hence, such reforms remain at best limited, allowed a marginal existence only insofar as they do not interfere with the basic accumulation drive of the system.

Indeed, the problem with all these approaches is that they allow the economy to continue on the same disastrous course it is currently following. We can go on consuming all we want (or as much as our income and wealth allow), using up resources, driving greater distances in our more fuel-efficient cars, consuming all sorts of new products made by “green” corporations, and so on. All we need to do is support the new “green” technologies (some of which, such as using agricultural crops to make fuels, are actually not green!) and be “good” about separating out waste that can be composted or reused in some form, and we can go on living pretty much as before—in an economy of perpetual growth and profits.

The very seriousness of the climate change problem arising from human-generated carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions has led to notions that it is merely necessary to reduce carbon footprints (a difficult problem in itself). The reality, though, is that there are numerous, interrelated, and growing ecological problems arising from a system geared to the infinitely expanding accumulation of capital. What needs to be reduced is not just carbon footprints, but ecological footprints, which means that economic expansion on the world level and especially in the rich countries needs to be reduced, even cease. At the same time, many poor countries need to expand their economies. The new principles that we could promote, therefore, are ones of sustainable human development. This means enough for everyone and no more. Human development would certainly not be hindered, and could even be considerably enhanced for the benefit of all, by an emphasis on sustainable human, rather than unsustainable economic, development.

Review: Volume 26 - Ancient History - History

Reviews of John L. Sorenson’s mammoth Mormon’s Codex: An Ancient American Book are starting to roll out—two from the Association for Mormon Letters and one from—and, updated April 23, 2014, a review by Jeff Lindsay:

This book is a treasure trove of information about New World archaeology and how it may relate to the Book of Mormon. It probably won’t convince critics, but as a believer in the Book of Mormon as scripture and as real history, it helped me better visualize the events and people it contains. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in physical evidence for the Book of Mormon and placing it on the map.” —Trevor Holyoak

For those who love this area of Mormon studies, the book is a treasure trove of important information. It is not an easy read, but those willing to pay the price will find their experience quite rewarding.” —Roy Schmidt

“Mormon’s Codex spectacularly brings together the lifelong work of an acclaimed scholar in the field of Book of Mormon archaeology and ancient American research. Its dense presentation of several hundred artifacts and cultural evidences makes Mormon’s Codex an essential resource for anyone engaged in defending or critiquing the claims of an ancient setting for the Book of Mormon.” —Brian W. Whitney

Read Whitney’s full review here.

“What makes Sorenson’s work so interesting is the abundance of intricate correspondences coupled with insights from the proposed physical setting that repeatedly enhance our understanding of the [Book of Mormon] text.” —Jeff Lindsay

Read Lindsay’s full review here.

In the coming weeks I hope to have Sorenson’s “Ask the Scholar” responses ready to go, so stay tuned.

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