The sword in the penis stone.
Phallic-shaped objects apparently weren’t always just for sexual pleasure: Spanish archaeologists have found a stone penis that may have been used to sharpen weapons in medieval Spain.
“It is an interesting object because it is unusual,” Darío Peña-Pascual, an archaeologist with Arbore Arqueoloxía, the organization that found the willy-shaped whetstone, told Live Science.
The team discovered the 6-inch doppelwanger in the ruins of the Tower of Meira in the Ria de Vigo, a river estuary in the southern part of the Spanish autonomous state Galicia.
This fortification was one of over 130 castles and towers destroyed during the Irmandiño revolts of the 15th century, in which peasants rose up against the ruling class, ArtNews reported.
Peña-Pascual said the object’s purpose was easy to identify because it retained “traces of wear on one side compatible with its use as a sharpening stone.”
While archaeologists frequently find whetstones at medieval excavation sites all over the world, this one’s penile shape made it stick out.
Why the sword sharpener was shaped like a shlong is “difficult to understand,” per Peña-Pascual, who believes that the structure in which it was found could provide insight.
“The context in which we find the stone penis is that of a fortress destroyed during an anti-seigneurial revolt,” she said. A seigneurial is the territory held by a feudal lord.
The scientist explained that during that time period, the phallic symbol was considered an “object of veneration” rather than a lewd symbol used to elicit sophomoric snickers.
In fact, ancient civilizations such as the Romans — which boasted a treasure trove of artifacts featuring manhood motifs — saw the penis as a symbol of power rather than sex.
Adults and children alike reportedly kept penis pendants on their persons to ward off evil as part of a tradition.
Peña-Pascual said that the whetstone discovery is significant “because it materializes the symbolic association between violence, weapons and masculinity, an association that we know existed in the Middle Ages and that is present in our culture today.”
In other words, the stone penis was not for getting one’s rocks off.
That’s not to say that phallic objects were never used for self-pleasure in ancient times.
In February, UK archaeologists discovered that a 2,000-year-old “sewing tool” could potentially be the only known life-size Roman dildo.