The Cambodian Psilocybe cubensis strain is the focus of this strain spotlight, which originates from the Siem Reap region of Cambodia, close to the largest religious complex ever built, Angkor Wat.
We can thank John Allen, who is a renowned authority on psychedelic mushrooms, for the spores for the Cambodian psilocybe cubensis strain. The discovery happened in Cambodia on one of his numerous trips to South East Asia. It is extremely interesting to note that these spores were found near the globally famous Angkor Wat temple complex just outside of the modern city of Siem Reap.
Let’s dig a little deeper
Angkor Wat is located in northwestern Cambodia. It is the largest religious complex on the planet to date, built by Suryavarman II. The entire temple complex covers 402 acres, which is, as we said, the largest religious complex on planet Earth; four times larger than Vatican City. Most people that have heard about Angkor Wat, or seen a photo of its five pointed temple at sunrise, don’t realize it is a part of the ancient, absolutely massive, sprawling city of Angkor. The city was active for the better part of 600 years, from the 9th to the 15th century.
Angkor’s re-discovery in 1858
French explorer Henri Mouhot re-discovered Angkor in 1858, describing it is “grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome”, and Angkor Wat itself as “a rival to [the temple of] Solomon, erected by some ancient Michelangelo”. At the time, the jungle had mostly reclaimed it. Interesting to note, this is where the movie Tomb Raider is based.
Using new age LIDAR scanners (laser imaging), archaeologists have been lucky to receive a lot of new information in the last decade. With LIDAR, you can essentially see the topography of an area without any trees, with only solid structure remaining. Through analyzing the LIDAR data, it is clear that Angkor is built as a “hydraulic city”. A complicated water management system, which stabilized, stored, and dispersed water throughout the area. This was not some small village or town. At the city’s peak in the 12th century, London had a population of approximately 18,000. The Angkor area, on the other hand, was a thriving city state with 750,000 to 1,000,000 active residents. At the low end of that spectrum, it had a population of 41 times the size of London!
Clearly, it is glaringly obvious that this Khmer culture was leaps and bounds ahead of the western world. This mix of ancient Hindu and Buddhist culture would have been a sight to behold. It is so interesting to discover that there is a psilocybe cubensis strain which is native to the area. It makes us wonder whether these advanced, ancient societies made use of these ancient teachers, the Cambodian psilocybe cubensis strain. Our guess is, probably 😉