6-inch long medieval stone penis was used to sharpen weapons

A team of archaeologists found the relic during an excavation at an archaeological site in Spain.
Sejal Sharma
The medieval stone penis
The medieval stone penis

Arbore Arqueoloxía 

Ancient phallic objects are a subject of mystery, and archaeologists worldwide have unearthed these penile-shaped tools, some even dating back to the Roman Empire. Similar models have been found in Pakistan, Sweden, and Turkey. Many even stand erected in museums.

A commonality in these discoveries of phallic-shaped objects is that they indicate some use. While their distinct form and the carved rings around the top indicate that they were a symbol of male genitalia, historians have long debated if they were used as an aid during sexual intercourse or as a darning tool.

But now, many archaeologists have excavated a six-inch-long stone resembling a penis, which might not have any sexual connotations.

The archaeologists who discovered the complex specimen believe it was a tool to sharpen weapons.

Not a vulgar object

"It is an interesting object because it is unusual and because it materializes the symbolic association between violence, weapons and masculinity, an association that we know existed in the Middle Ages and that is present in our culture today," said Darío Peña-Pascual in an interview to Live Science. Darío is an archaeologist with Arbore Arqueoloxía, who led the excavations.

The group found the six-inch-long (15 centimeters) relic during an excavation at an archaeological site in the Ría de Vigo estuary of northwestern Spain on May 19. The penis-shaped stone was found among other artifacts like pottery and stone spindles.

According to Dario, sharpening tools are a common discovery at medieval sites. The archaeologists determined the function of the stone penis by observing a distinct pattern of wear on one side of the phallic whetstone, according to Arkeonews.

"The possible meaning that a culture gives to an object is much more difficult to understand," said Dario. "The context in which we find the stone penis is that of a fortress destroyed during an anti-seigneurial revolt." (A seigneurial is the territory held by a feudal lord.)

According to the statement by Arbore Arqueoloxía, the stone wasn’t considered vulgar in the middle ages. It was considered an "object of veneration." Its uses ranged from a tool to ward off evil to use in pendants, rings, or lamps.

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