Pubdate: Sun, 09 Aug 2015
Source: City Press (South Africa)
Copyright: 2015 City Press


Forensic technology from South Africa has been used to get to the 
bottom of what was smoked in tobacco pipes in William Shakespeare's 
garden in the English town of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Britain's Independent newspaper reported that residue from clay 
tobacco pipes more than 400 years old, found in his garden, was 
analysed in Pretoria using a technique called gas chromatography mass 

Chemicals from the pipe bowls and stems showed that, although many 
people in the 17th century smoked coca leaves  the raw material of 
cocaine  those in Shakespeare's garden weren't used to smoke these. 
However, four of the pipes were used to smoke dagga.

Shakespeare might have known about the negative effects of coca and 
preferred dagga.

Researchers base these assertions on some of his works. The 
Independent said that, in Sonnet 76, The Bard writes about "invention 
in a noted weed", which could be interpreted to mean he was willing 
to use "weed" for creative writing.
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