Sacred Weeds

“In many cultures, distant in place or time from our own, there are special plants that give rise to strange visions and hallucinations. Experiences we associate with illegal drugs, that which for these other cultures, are thought to be a gateway to another world.”

Sacred Weeds was a four part television series of 50 minute documentaries investigating the cultural impact of psychoactive plants on a broad array of early civilisations. The series was filmed at Hammerwood Park by the producer, Sarah Marris, and her production company TVF. It was broadcast in the summer of 1998 on Channel 4, a British television network.

The Reader in European Pre-History at the University of Oxford, Dr Andrew Sherratt, was the series host. Prior to his resignation from the Uinversity of Oxford, Sherratt was appointed Professor of Archaeology. Each episode began and ended with Sherratt inscribing his diary with his reflections on the series’ scientific and cultural investigations. In each episode the series investigated one psychoactive plant and its cultural significance. Three specialists of various scientific disciplines were invited to monitor two volunteers who had taken each plant. After the four episodes, Sherratt assigned considerably more significance to the psychoactive properties of plants in ancient civilization and the prehistoric period than expert knowledge hitherto. (Excerpt from website)

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  • Amanita Muscaria

    Salvia Divinorum

    Henbane

    Blue Lilly

     

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