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Archaeologist digs up 1,800-year-old stone carved with penis graffiti

Archaeologist Digs Up 1,800-Year-Old Stone Carved with Penis Graffiti

Today, it’s not unusual to find lewd graffiti on the street. It makes you wonder whether people graffitied inappropriate messages years ago and how it was handled? One man found the answer when he dug up an old slab of rock with a crude picture of a penis carved into it along with a rude inscription. 

Amateur archeologist and retired biochemist Dylan Herbert was digging around Hadrian’s Wall, an old Roman fort in northern England when he found a 40cm x 15 cm slab of rock. Upon closer examination, he saw there was a phallic symbol carved into it, which was often used as a sign of good luck by Romans. 

It also bore the words ‘Secvndinvs cacor’ which translated to “Secundis the sh**ter. 

Dr. Andrew Birley, director of excavations and chief executive of Vindolanda Trust, weighed in on the matter saying, “Its author clearly had a big problem with Secundinus and was confident enough to announce their thoughts publicly on a stone.” 

“I have no doubt that they would have been less than amused to see this.” 

“The recovery of an inscription, a direct message from the past, is always a great event on a Roman excavation, but this one really raised eyebrows when we deciphered the message.” 

“It shows something as childish as graffiti was going on back then and hopefully, we will now find a response from Secundius.”

Experts date the stone back to the third century AD. 

Herbert thought the stone was just an ordinary stone until he turned it over. 

“It looked from the back like all the others, a very ordinary stone, but when I turned it over, I was startled to see some clear letters.”

“Only after we removed the mud did I realize the full extent of what I’d uncovered and I was absolutely delighted.”

The phallus carving was not the first of its kind to be found on the site which stretches from Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend. 13 similar pieces have previously been found making the site the one with the most phallic inscriptions so far. 

The stone is being cleaned in a lab and it will be displayed at Vindolanda, a Roman army museum, next year.

Archaeologist Digs Up 1,800-Year-Old Stone Carved with Penis Graffiti

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