was done on pipes found in the home of Shakespeare
. the evidence was circumstancial
, however, 2 of the 24 pipes tested bore traces of cocaine. (the first time the drug has been found in Europe before the 19th century) others had traces of a chemical called myristic acid
, and traces of cannabis
"The cocaine found is really quite remarkable" says Dr. Francais Thackery (who co-wrote the article in the South African Journal of Science) it "was recorded in Europe about 200 years ago, but to our knowledge, never this early" (of course, no one has tested for cocaine on anything this old, either)
As well, hemp was widely used for rope and even printing Shakespeare's early works, but there is little evidence that it was ever smoked.
The pipe fragments were examined using gas chromotography with the help of co-author, Inspector Tommie van der Merwe of the South African Police Service's forensic science laboratory.