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23 July 2010
Prehistoric Swedish dildo - or is it a tool?

A dig in Motala (Sweden) recently turned up a carved antler bone that bears a strong resemblance to an erect penis. The phallic object is 10.5cm long and 2cm in diameter. The team, led by National Heritage Board archaeologist Fredrik Molin, were shocked by the find, as archaeologist Gsran Gruber noted "Nobody here, and nobody that we heard of or talked with had ever seen something like this in northern European or Scandinavian sites." Symbols of feminine sexuality or fertility, on the other hand, are not uncommon on ancient artefacts.
     The exact use of the object is unknown; it may be a dildo or a tool used to flake flint, or both. Gruber says "For you and me, it signals this erected-penis-like shape, but if that's the way the Stone Age people thought about it, I can't say." Another enigmatic phallic object was found in Germany in 2005, although it is 28000 years old and made of stone.
     The site at Motala has revealed many other finds that date from the Mesolithic (4000 to 6000 BCE). Gruber notes of the object "It's an organic object, that's why it's so special. Normally when we excavate early Mesolithic sites we never get the organic material. But this site where we're excavating now is along the shoreline. The preservation is very good here - it's been lying in the bottom sediments and clay layers of the river, and it's been very well-preserved there."

Source: LiveScience (20 July 2010), newKerala.com (22 July 2010)

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