Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Rise of Western Civilization, Part 1—Paleolithic sex objects

Look, it's cold. You are alone with the girls in a cave.
July 27, 2005

When you’re done chomping on that mammoth bone, Thrug, could you hand me that dildo please?—And you thought the Ice Age was no fun! Researchers in Germany have found a 20 cm-long, 3 cm-wide phallus about 28,000 years old in a cave. It is, my friends, a stone penis. And because of its size and shape was probably used as a sex object. [Where else do you go for stuff like this?—well, in this case, you would find it here, on the BBC’s web page. But who finds things like this for you? Well, in this case, loyal reader Larry Maxcy, who has a lot of time on his hands and I hope is feeling better.] And if you weren’t using it for getting on, the scientists report, you could use it for knapping flints. You take the stone penis in your hand and bang it hard against the flint and chip off pieces. Is that handy or what? To be serious for a moment, the phallus is probably the oldest such object ever discovered, and according to the scientists at Tübingen University, the distinctive form, the fact it was highly polished and had etched rings around one end meant it was also used as a religious symbol. It was discovered when, working like a puzzle, the researchers put together 14 stone fragments, many of which had been lying around in storage. When they found the last fragment last year, it all came together. The site is the famous cave at Hohle Fels, which has produced thousands of Upper Paleolithic items. A Paleolithic dildo. I’d make a Neanderthal joke, but the Neanderthal had disappeared by then leaving only H. sapiens to play with themselves. Since it is about 8 inches long, one wonders about the dawn of civilization.

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