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A very weird Roman pendant… [NSFW]


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A metal digger has made a rare find in south-east England: a phallus-shaped pendant, dating back to ancient Rome. According to the specialized site Live Science, the phallic figurine would be the first of its kind to be discovered. It would seem that this phallus was forged when the Romans reigned in Great Britain, between 42 and 410 AD. The Romans collected objects and sculptures of all kinds inspired by the penis; according to them, the male member held divine protective powers.

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The rarity of this new object is that it was forged in silver, explains Wendy Thompson, the one who found it. « I have others in bronze that I have found in the past, but they are not nearly as important, we have never found any in silver before in England », she said. The pendant is just over 3 centimeters long and features a ribbed flourish at the top, representing pubic hair. A fastening loop has also been modeled, suggesting that the object had to be put on to be worn on the body, like a necklace.

Lori Rogerson, an expert who analyzes potentially ancient finds with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, said such objects are usually made of a lower-value copper alloy. « Being a higher quality metal than copper alloy, silver may have been thought to enhance the protective abilities of the phallus », she explained. This silver phallic pendant is considered by experts to be an important national find.

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I take it the unusual part is that it's made of silver? Or the pubic hair? That is unusual! (I don't buy antiquities besides coins, but I've seen great looking bronze phalluses, don't know if any had fur!) I don't know very much about these little personal antiquities, but I find it is very interesting and impressive. You can still see a lot of marks on the surface still indicating how it was made/formed. I wonder, were these cast objects, or did a silverworker sculpt the piece of silver itself? (Or a combination or something else entirely?) I'm guessing it's maybe a couple centimeters? And pendant -- that's to be worn around the neck, I guess?

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This is out of my area (yes, unfortunately ancient .... pen...dants are not my specialty) but I can recommend a book (fiction of course) set in ancient Rome, in a very long time span.

https://www.amazon.com/Roma-Novel-Ancient-Steven-Saylor/dp/0312328311

If anybody reads this book, they will understand the connection with the thread. Now 100% serious - I found the book very, very good.

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