Pollen thought to come from a cannabis plant has been found in a grave in Hattemerbroek (Gelderland) dating back 4200 years. The cannabis was almost certainly used for its medicinal properties as the grave also contained Meadowsweet. Both plants have medicinal and pain-relieving properties, leading archaeologists to believe the person in the grave may have been ill.
The early bronze age grave is one of the many archaeological finds made by Dutch Rail staff while working on a new railway connection between the urban central belt of the Netherlands with the northeast of the country. The grave was found five years ago but it has taken archaeologists several years to thoroughly investigate the remains, rail operator ProRail said in a statement.
The grave itself was lined with wooden planks and, given the amount of Meadowsweet traces, the dead person may have been lain on a mat of the flowering plant, ProRail said.