ISRAEL-ARCHAEOLOGY/

A vessel that contained opium in the 14th century BC, when it was used by Canaanites as an offering for the dead, according to a study by the Israel Antiquities Authority, Tel Aviv University and The Weizmann Institute of Science, is displayed in Jerusalem Tuesday. More vessels are seen below.

JERUSALEM — Opium traces have been discovered in Israel in vessels used in burial rituals by the ancient Canaanites, providing one of the world’s earliest evidences of use of the drug.

Discovered in a 2012 excavation in Tel Yehud in central Israel, the Late Bronze Age vessels, shaped like upside-down poppy flowers, were found at Canaanite graves, where they were likely used in burial ceremonies and for offerings for the dead in the afterlife, researchers said on Tuesday.