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Ancient Phallic Decorations

30,000 Year Old Phallic Decorations Give Insights into Ancient Ancestors


Spanish researchers Javier Angulo and Marcos García have spent many years cataloguing depictions of sexuality, reproduction, and eroticism from the Upper Paleolithic Period (40,000 to 10,000 years ago) and they have come up with some very interesting findings.

Angulo and García have reported on the discovery of many portable art objects with a phallic form, mostly depicted in the aroused state, that have survived to the present day, some as old as 30,000 years old.  Most of the objects display a variety of intricate designs, including concentric lines, geometric protrusions, series of carefully arranged dots, and naturalistic forms, all of which resemble designs found in caves with Paleolithic wall art.

Researchers suggest that such decorative representations may indicate decorative rituals of male genital tattooing, piercing and scarification practiced during Paleolithic times.  García points out the study of prehistoric artifacts—even sexual ones—is crucial if we are to understand our ancestors' day-to-day behaviors. “Sex is culture," explains García, "not just biology.

By April Holloway

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April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan.

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