Who erected this penis statue in Sweden more than 2500 years ago?

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Who erected this penis statue in Sweden more than 2500 years ago?
Yes, this archaeological monument is exactly what you think it looks like. Photo: The Archaeologists/NHM

What a team of Swedish archaeologists first believed to be a Bronze Age grave turned out to be a large penis that may have been used for sacrificial rites.


The phallic stone, measuring a stately 52 centimetres, was discovered during an archaeological excavation at Rollsbo, Kungälv, near Gothenburg in western Sweden.

"The stone was hidden under a stone packing and originally the archaeologists thought it was a Bronze Age grave," said archaeological consultancy firm The Archaeologists in a press release.

Photo: The Archaeologists/NHM

Phallic stones are not uncommon, and were often associated with power and potency.

However, it is rare to find one designed to look quite so similar to the real-life version.

"In this specific context, with a stone so clearly resembling a phallus, perhaps it was primarily a fertility cult," mused The Archaeologists about the purpose of the sacrificial site.

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Photo: The Archaeologists/NHM

The phallic stone was found erected in the centre of the monument, with patches of soot surrounding it. A hammer stone and two small burned bones were also found, probably animal bones, said The Archaeologists.

"Forthcoming archaeobotanical analyses will perhaps reveal burned cereals as a result of grain offering, perhaps together with the erection of the stone and within sacrificial fertility rituals."

The monument is believed to be from around 1100-500 BC.



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