A new discovery suggests humans had used tobacco over 12,000 years ago, after tobacco plant seeds were found in an ancient fireplace in the US, the BBC reported on Wednesday.
The discovery reportedly makes the first known use of tobacco approximately 9,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Before the latest discovery, which was found in a fireplace in the US state of Utah, earlier evidence was a 3,300-year-old smoking pipe, which was also found in the US.
Researchers said the Utah discovery suggests people had used the tobacco plants either to smoke or suck on them thousands of years ago.
“The tobacco seeds were the big surprise. They are incredibly small and rare to be preserved,” a researcher was quoted by the BBC as saying.
“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,” he added.
Findings also suggest that native Americans may have consumed the tobacco, according to the BBC.
Tobacco is used, usually after aging and processing in various ways, for smoking, chewing, snuffing, and extraction of nicotine, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. Its geographic origin comes from the Americas.