Archaeology: Tobacco seeds date first human use to 12,300 years in the past

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Modern cultivated tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) seed vessels

blickwinkel / Alamy

Seeds discovered at an ancient campsite in Nevada indicate people have been using tobacco for at least 12,300 years, which is far longer than previously thought.

Tobacco plants are native to North America, and humans are thought to have reached the continent around 20,000 to 16,000 years go. “This suggests that people learned the intoxicant properties of tobacco relatively early in their time here rather than only with domestication and agriculture thousands of years later,” says Daron Duke at the …

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