London: New evidence suggests that Europeans may have used magic mushrooms in religious rituals 6000 years ago.
A cave mural found in Spain depicts fungi with hallucinogenic properties - the oldest evidence of their use in Europe, reports the New Scientist.
Brian Akers at Pasco-Hernando Community College in New Port Richey, Florida, and Gaston Guzman at the Ecological Institute of Xalapa in Mexico found the Selva Pascuala mural, in a cave near the town of Villar del Humo.
They believe that the objects are the fungi Psilocybe hispanica, a local species with hallucinogenic properties.
As depicted in the mural, P hispanica has a bell-shaped cap topped with a dome, and lacks an annulus - a ring around the stalk.
"Its stalks also vary from straight to sinuous, as they do in the mural," said Akers.
The find appears in Economic Botany.