© UnknownThe Selva Pascuala mural has a bull in the centre, but researchers from America and Mexico are focusing on a row of 13 small mushroom-like objects
For all those who thought hallucinogenic drugs took off in the 1960s, think again: scientists believe they have found evidence of magic mushroom use 6,000 years ago.

Cave murals found in Spain appear to depict them in religious rituals - which would be the oldest evidence of their use in Europe.

The Selva Pascuala cave mural near the town of Villar del Humo has a bull in the centre, but researchers from America and Mexico are focussing on a row of 13 small mushroom-like objects.

Brian Akers at Pasco-Hernando Community College in Florida, and Gaston Guzman at the Ecological Institute of Xalapa in Mexico say they believe the objects are Psilocybe hispanica, a local funghi with hallucinogenic properties.

The mushroom has a bell-shaped cap with a dome and lacks a ring around the stalk, just like the objects in the 6,000 year-old mural, they say.

It also has stalks which vary from straight to sinuous - the same as those drawn thousands of years ago, they add in the latest issue of New Scientist.

But, even though it is several millennia old, it is not thought to be the oldest painting showing hallucinogenic mushrooms.

© CorbisMessages from another world: The Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave signs and paintings cover 25,000 years of prehistory from 35,000 to 10,000 years ago
A mural in Algeria that may show Psilocybe mairei is 7,000 to 9,000 years old, according to

Just last month, it was revealed the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave in southern France is to be the subject of a 3D documentary by German filmmaker Werner Herzog, as it is thought to be where man made his first attempts to write.

Since its (re)discovery in 1994, the cave in southern France has offered scientists a veritable treasure trove of perfectly preserved paintings.

Alongside these are evidence of attempts at communication 30,000 to 40,000 years ago.