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The history of European hemp cultivation

Schroeder, Mimmi LU (2019) In Dissertations in Geology at Lund University GEOL01 20191
Department of Geology
Abstract
Humans and hemp (Cannabis sativa) have an ancient relationship, dating back to the beginning of recorded history. Nevertheless, controversy surrounds the antiquity of the plant. Today Cannabis is probably most famous for its psychoactive properties and illicit status in numerous countries, however hemp has primarily been cultivated as a fibre crop in the past. This study examines the European history of hemp cultivation, based on already published data collected from the European Pollen Database and other relevant studies. The oldest indicators of hemp cultivation from the European pollen record is from the Lake Varna-region in Bulgaria, dated to 4280 BCE. However, this find is the only of its kind from this time. Much later, by 500-600... (More)
Humans and hemp (Cannabis sativa) have an ancient relationship, dating back to the beginning of recorded history. Nevertheless, controversy surrounds the antiquity of the plant. Today Cannabis is probably most famous for its psychoactive properties and illicit status in numerous countries, however hemp has primarily been cultivated as a fibre crop in the past. This study examines the European history of hemp cultivation, based on already published data collected from the European Pollen Database and other relevant studies. The oldest indicators of hemp cultivation from the European pollen record is from the Lake Varna-region in Bulgaria, dated to 4280 BCE. However, this find is the only of its kind from this time. Much later, by 500-600 BCE, there are clear indications that hemp cultivation was initiated in southeast Europe. By 700 CE cultivation had spread all the way to the northern and western parts of Europe, including Scandinavia. The earliest evidence of hemp cultivation from Sweden are dated to 20 CE. The most intensive period of cultivation took place between 800-1400 CE. During this time hemp retting was common all over Europe, which explains the extraordinarily large amounts (>80%) of C. sativa pollen recorded in some of the datasets. In the late 17th century the cultivation of hemp almost ceased completely as the cotton industry expanded in Europe. Today hemp fibres only represent a tiny fraction (0.15%) of the European textile market. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Människan och hampan (Cannabis sativa) har en gemensam historia som går långt bak i tiden, denna historia är dock omgiven av kontroverser. Idag är Cannabis mest känt för sina psykoaktiva egenskaper och narkotika klassificering i många länder, men hampa har historiskt sett främst odlats för fiberproduktion. Denna studie undersöker historisk hampaodling i Europa och är baserad på redan publicerade data från European Pollen Database och andra relevanta studier. Den äldsta tecknet på hampodling från europeiska polleninsamlingar kommer från Varna-regionen i Bulgarien och är daterat till 4280 f.v.t. Detta fynd är dock den enda i sitt slag från den här tiden. Först långt senare, omkring 500-600 f.v.t., finns det tydliga tecken på att hampodling... (More)
Människan och hampan (Cannabis sativa) har en gemensam historia som går långt bak i tiden, denna historia är dock omgiven av kontroverser. Idag är Cannabis mest känt för sina psykoaktiva egenskaper och narkotika klassificering i många länder, men hampa har historiskt sett främst odlats för fiberproduktion. Denna studie undersöker historisk hampaodling i Europa och är baserad på redan publicerade data från European Pollen Database och andra relevanta studier. Den äldsta tecknet på hampodling från europeiska polleninsamlingar kommer från Varna-regionen i Bulgarien och är daterat till 4280 f.v.t. Detta fynd är dock den enda i sitt slag från den här tiden. Först långt senare, omkring 500-600 f.v.t., finns det tydliga tecken på att hampodling initierats i sydöstra Europa. På 700-talet e.v.t. hade hampa odling spridit sig hela vägen till nord- och Västeuropa, inklusive Skandinavien. De tidigaste bevisen på hampodling från Sverige är daterade till 20 e.v.t. Den mest intensiva odlingsperioden ägde rum mellan 800-1400 e.v.t. Under denna tid var hampa rötning vanligt, vilket förklarar fynd av extraordinärt stora mängder (> 80%) av hampa pollen vid vissa lokaler. I slutet av 1700-talet upphörde odlingen av hampa nästan helt och hållet samtidigt som bomullsindustrin expanderade i Europa. Idag utgör hampafibrer bara en liten del (0.15%) av den europeiska textilmarknaden. (Less)
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author
Schroeder, Mimmi LU
supervisor
organization
course
GEOL01 20191
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Cannabis sativa, hemp, cultivation, Europe, pollen
publication/series
Dissertations in Geology at Lund University
report number
567
language
English
id
8985524
date added to LUP
2019-06-18 16:47:39
date last changed
2019-06-18 16:47:39
@misc{8985524,
  abstract     = {Humans and hemp (Cannabis sativa) have an ancient relationship, dating back to the beginning of recorded history. Nevertheless, controversy surrounds the antiquity of the plant. Today Cannabis is probably most famous for its psychoactive properties and illicit status in numerous countries, however hemp has primarily been cultivated as a fibre crop in the past. This study examines the European history of hemp cultivation, based on already published data collected from the European Pollen Database and other relevant studies. The oldest indicators of hemp cultivation from the European pollen record is from the Lake Varna-region in Bulgaria, dated to 4280 BCE. However, this find is the only of its kind from this time. Much later, by 500-600 BCE, there are clear indications that hemp cultivation was initiated in southeast Europe. By 700 CE cultivation had spread all the way to the northern and western parts of Europe, including Scandinavia. The earliest evidence of hemp cultivation from Sweden are dated to 20 CE. The most intensive period of cultivation took place between 800-1400 CE. During this time hemp retting was common all over Europe, which explains the extraordinarily large amounts (>80%) of C. sativa pollen recorded in some of the datasets. In the late 17th century the cultivation of hemp almost ceased completely as the cotton industry expanded in Europe. Today hemp fibres only represent a tiny fraction (0.15%) of the European textile market.},
  author       = {Schroeder, Mimmi},
  keyword      = {Cannabis sativa,hemp,cultivation,Europe,pollen},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Dissertations in Geology at Lund University},
  title        = {The history of European hemp cultivation},
  year         = {2019},
}