Archaeologists have uncovered 2,400-year-old golden bongs used by royalty to smoke cannabis and opium in Russia. The bongs were uncovered in a secret chamber covered with clay by construction workers during excavations to install power lines. The ancient paraphernalia was found alongside 7 lbs of other gold items—three gold cups, a heavy gold finger ring, two neck rings, and a gold bracelet.
Experts believe the bongs to be the oldest in existence—used by Scythians, an ancient Iranian nomadic people who dominated the Eurasian grasslands for almost 1,000 years, roughly 800 BC to 300 AD.
The haul of bongs and jewelry.
The bongs contained a thick black residue which on examination was found to be a mix of cannabis and opium. Cannabis played an important part in the Scythian religion—smoked as a way to induce a state of trance and help with divination. It is believed this potent mix was smoked by Scythian kings before leading their armies into battle. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus (484 BC-425 BC) wrote:
“The Scythians used a plant to produce smoke that no Grecian vapour-bath can surpass” and that “transported by the vapour, [they] shout aloud.”
Antonn Gass, of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, in Berlin, Germany, believes that the Scythians used both drugs is “beyond doubt.”
“It’s a once-in-a-century discovery, these are among the finest objects we know from the region.”
The ornate bongs also tell a story. One shows a bearded man killing young warrior—or perhaps a jealous husband slaying a rival lover or son; while, the other has mythological creatures on it, including griffons ripping apart a horse and a stag—the Scythians had seven gods in their religion and sacrificed animals to them.
Painting of the ‘Battle between the Scythians and the Slavs’ by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1881.
The Scythians were known as notoriously aggressive warriors, who “fought to live and lived to fight” and were said to drink “the blood of their enemies and used the scalps as napkins.” They practiced guerilla warfare and were famed as archers—using arrows with poisonous tips to conquer their enemies.
The haul of treasure was found in a kurgan (burial mound) in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia, in 2013. Due to fear of looters raiding the site, the find was kept quiet. Now the bongs and jewelry have been cleaned up and are to be exhibited in a Russian museum.
Archaeologists have uncovered 2,400-year-old golden bongs used by royalty to smoke cannabis and opium in Russia. The bongs were uncovered in a secret chamber covered with clay by construction workers during excavations to install power lines. The ancient paraphernalia was found alongside 7 lbs of other gold items—three gold cups, a heavy gold finger ring, two neck rings, and a gold bracelet. Experts believe the bongs to be the oldest in existence—used by Scythians, an ancient Iranian nomadic people who dominated the Eurasian grasslands for almost 1,000 years, roughly 800 BC to 300 AD. The haul of bongs and jewelry. …
Dangers of a Dirty Bong and How to Clean It
Is your bong or water pipe making you feel… Awful?
Look at your bong closely — do you see a heavy resin build-up, a disturbing film, or white or black specks building up inside?
It’s not the time to blame the cannabis; it’s time to get to work and clean up your glass bong — why?
As much as you love a hit of fresh cannabis, bacteria love dirty water the same way.
And what might surprise you is the fact that every bong session that you’re going to have is going to take you closer by an inch or two to a potential waterborne or a respiratory disease.
Cause for concern? Let’s take a closer look.
How Severely Insanitation Affects Your Bong
Pathogens and bacteria are fond of dirty water.
You must have seen a film that appears on the surface on any water surface (e.g. a glass of water left exposed for 24-hours). That shiny film is a biofilm.
If you can see it on your bong right now, chances are it has surfaced itself on your bong along with its microscopic friends.
The film can be a host to myriad types of yeasts, bacteria and other microorganisms.
The worst part about the biofilm is its quality of forming on the surface in the mere span of 24 hours.
The surface becomes a playground for several microbes like yeast and bacteria; when these microbes are provided with ample amount of nutrients and water supply, they start making a home for themselves in your bong and possibly in your lungs too — think about inhaling a bunch of microbes every time you take a hit.
Moreover, each puff hardens the resins, making them all the more cumbersome to clean.
The biofilm is resistant to antibiotics. The antibiotics can’t penetrate the film and are ineffective in the treatment of diseases caused due to it.
So, it isn’t only about how shiny your glass is or how good the cannabis looks. A contaminated bong befouls your smoking experience and makes it displeasing and unhealthy — prone to diseases like Typhoid, malaria, strep throat, pneumonia and emphysema cholera, and hepatitis A – too much to stomach?
In a nutshell, instead of giving pathogens a direct path to your lungs, remove them from your bong by implying the proper cleaning practices.
Wondering how to do that?
How to Clean a Bong
You don’t need to buy a fancy kit to clean your bong.
Here are the basic things that will get the job done for you — salt, alcohol, pieces of cotton or fabric and a cleaning brush.
If you can’t remember the whole process, remember this rule – We Should Always Brush.
W stands for water, S stands for Salt, A stands for Alcohol and B stands for Brush only — this rule is only to make you remember the order.
Step One: Rinse Your Bong
Dump out your old dirty bong water and rinse it several times with hot water. Also rinse out your bowl and down stem and place in a separate plastic bag.
Step Two: Add Cleaning Solution
Add the alcohol and salt to both your bong and bag with down stem and bowl. If it’s a stubborn stain, let it sit for a while with plenty of alcohol. Once you’re ready add more salt.
Step Three: Cover Openings
Use a towel, your hand or anything to cover the openings of the bong. Make sure to tightly seal your bag with the down stem and bowl.
Step Four: Shake
It’s time to shake, but carefully as to not drop or whack it on anything. Let the salt do the scrubbing for you.
Step Five: Empty, Rinse, and Use
Empty out the alcohol and salt solution. Rinse with warm water until every bit of salt is out. If there are still some spots repeat the process but leave the alcohol and salt solution sit longer. Once everything is clean fill it up and enjoy!
Now that you know how to clean a bong, staying on top of it will make the process easier without all the build-up.
Jimmy Louise works with Headshop Headquarters, an online headshop located in Austin, Texas. They set themselves apart with customer service, quick shipping, and high-quality glass products.
A dirty water pipe also known as a bong can get dirty easily and must be properly cleaned to prevent bacteria growth and degraded quality.