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An extremely rare and intricately carved "death vase" has been discovered in the 1,400-year-old grave of a member of the Maya elite, scientists say.
The vase is the first of its kind to be found in modern times, and its contents are opening a window onto ancient rituals of ancestor worship that included food offerings, chocolate enemas, and hallucinations induced by vomiting, experts say
"It could be that these kinds of marble vases ended up all over the place, and we just don't know because we haven't excavated them. But I suspect that there's something else going on here," he said.
"There's some special relationship that somebody had in this community with the producers of these vases over in the Ulúa Valley.
"This is something you would find in a Maya king's tomb," he added. "This is not something you would find in a very rural, backwater community."
Intense vomiting in ayahuasca ceremonies is a common phenomenon. However, people who experience "la purga" after drinking ayahuasca generally regard it as both a physical and spiritual cleanse and often come to welcome it.  It has been suggested that the consistent emetic effects of ayahuasca — in addition to its many other therapeutic properties — was of medicinal benefit to indigenous peoples of the Amazon, in helping to clear parasites from the gastrointestinal system. 
Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) was a sacred shrub to American Indians throughout the Gulf Coast region, where it grows. The leaves contain caffeine and, when used in small amounts, can be made into a mildly stimulating drink. The local American Indians, however, used it in great amounts to induce vomiting during their rituals. Europeans, observing these purging ceremonies, gave the plant its species name.
But now he thinks it was used by Taino Indians in Cuba, a pre-Columbian people known for ritual regurgitation.
The Taino stuck the spatulas down their throats so they could purge the contents of their stomachs before sacred ceremonies, where they communicated with the supernatural world or prayed for good health. After they had thrown up, they would inhale cohoba, a psychoactive drug made from the seeds of a tree, to induce a trance.