The most renowned examples of the prehistoric use of mushrooms are represented by the stone paintings from Saharan aboriginal tribes of North Africa (ca. 9000 BC.) and the rock paintings of religious rituals in Spain (ca. 6000 years ago). The symbols, statues and paintings created by the Mayas and the Aztecs indicate the consumption of psilocybin mushrooms, especially during religious rituals, as a way to communicate with deities. Other tribes originating in Central America were also involved in magic mushrooms use for similar reasons. In northeastern Greece, western Turkey, and Bulgaria, in the regions known in antiquity as Macedonia, Anatolia, and Thrace, numerous megalithic natural rock formations resemble mushrooms. The monuments resembling mushrooms are sometimes ornamented with carvings or paintings, or associated with folkloric motifs that indicate that the fungi were used as hallucinogenic. In southern India, megalithic monuments (kuda-kallu) of the archaeological site of Aryannoor in Kerala, belonging to the Iron Age, resemble to parasol mushrooms. This representation has been recently taken up by the Berlin architect Jürgen Mayer for the construction of the Metropol Parasol in Seville (Spain). Anthracological researches pointed out the presence of Basidiomycetes, Ascomycetes, and Deuteromycetes (Imperfect fungi) which attack both Angiosperms and Gymnosperms in the remains of wood charcoals from archaeological excavations and natural deposits. More recently, the soil bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities inhabiting archaeological humanimpacted layers at Monte Iato settlement in Sicily has been characterized. The use of mushrooms in human diets and in the treatment of diseases are also discussed in an archaeological context. Finally, data on the presence of fungi in the Archaelogical Park of Selinunte are here provided.
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