Racy inscriptions and phalluses carved into Astypalaia’s rocky peninsula shed light on very private lives of ancient Greece.

Archaeologists have uncovered what they are calling “erotic graffiti”—racy inscriptions and phallic images—carved into the rocky peninsula of the Greek island Astylpalia.

Yes, you read that right. Penis pictures, carved into rocks.

Astypalaia
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While that alone hardly seems newsworthy (the same types of pictures are spray painted on bridges and overpasses all over the world), archaeologists say the time period the carvings were made it fascinating.

Some of the carvings date back to the fifth and sixth centuries. That means they were left even before the Acropolis has been built in Athens.

In an interview with The Guardian, Dr. Andreas Vlachopoulos said the discoveries are “monumental in scale,” noting that the authors “claimed their own space in large letter that not only expressed sexual desire but talked about the act of sex itself.”

“They were what I would call triumphant inscriptions,” said the Princeton-trained professor who found them while introducing students to the ancient island world of the Aegean. “They claimed their own space in large letters that not only expressed sexual desire but talked about the act of sex itself,” he told the Guardian. “And that is very, very rare.”

Found at the highest point of the promontory overlooking the Bay of Vathy on the island’s north-western tip, the inscription has led the archaeologist to believe that soldiers may once have been garrisoned there.

Two penises engraved into limestone beneath the name of Dion, and dating to the fifth century BC, were also discovered at lower heights of the cape. “They would seem to allude to similar behaviour on the part of Dion,” said Vlachopoulos.

Unit recently, Astypalaia has been better known for its ancient cemeteries of mass graves containing the remains of newborn infants. Now erotica has to be added to that sorry tale.

“Few Greek islands have been properly explored or excavated and these findings are testimony to why it is so important that they are,” said the archaeologist.

One of the phrases, believe to have been carved in the mid-sixth century, reads, “Nikasitimos was here mounting Timiona.”

One final note – Nika and Timi were both men.

Picture credit : Guardian. Article credits : Guardian | AVN

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