in reply to Re^2: New Perl Features are Just Sugar From Language X
in thread J2SE 5.0 new features are just sugar from Perl (and other similar languages).
My Perl experience only goes back as far as 5.6.1, you'll need merlyn or one of the others with the Knowledge of the Ancients (sorry, too much Stargate :), for the answer to your question. I pretty sure that P4 had hashes, but I don;t even know when that came into being.
I do know that REXX had associative arrays way back in 1987. That was my first encounter with them, and I remember thinking that the were bloody nearly magical before I read up on hashing and hashing algorithms.