Soma in Vedic Sanskrit, or Haoma in Avestan Persian are the cognate derivatives of the original common proto Indo-Iranian term referring to an important ritualistic beverage prepared from a plant that had the same name as the drink itself. Moreover, term was also personified as a deity in its own right leading to a triple manifestation of a single entity. In Zoroastrianism in particular Haoma acquired a special place in the religious rituals and belief system. The intoxicating drink was used as a cult drink and had an important ritual meaning and is still in use in Zoroastrian practices to this day.
Archaeological discoveries in Margiana, have for the first time yielded concrete material evidence of the cultic use of haoma- soma. Monumental temples were excavated in which intoxicating beverages of the soma-haoma type were prepared for cult ceremonies. In these temples rooms were found containing vessels with the remains of ephedra, canabis and poppy, a direct indication of a haoma – soma type substance.