The Guardian reports that Dr. Andreas Vlachopoulos, a prehistoric archaeologist working on the small Greek island of Astypalaia, has discovered the world's oldest erotic carvings -- and they're very, very gay:
[Vlachopoulos] chanced upon a couple of racy inscriptions and large phalluses carved into Astypalaia's rocky peninsula at Vathy. The inscriptions, both dating to the fifth and sixth centuries BC, were "so monumental in scale" - and so tantalizingly clear - he was left in no doubt of the motivation behind the artworks.
"They were what I would call triumphant inscriptions," said the Princeton-trained professor who found them while introducing students to the ancient island world of the Aegean. "They claimed their own space in large letters that not only expressed sexual desire but talked about the act of sex itself," he told the Guardian. "And that is very, very rare."
Chiseled into the outcrops of dolomite limestone that dot the cape, the inscriptions have provided invaluable insight into the private lives of those who inhabited archaic and classical Greece. One, believed to have been carved in the mid-sixth century BC, proclaimed: "Nikasitimos was here mounting Timiona."
Dr. Vlachopoulos added that the newly-discovered graffiti is especially significant because of its use of the past continuous tense (i.e. "was mounting"). "It clearly says," explained Vlachopoulos, "that these two men were making love over a long period of time, emphasizing the sexual act in a way that is highly unusual in erotic artwork."
A limestone engraving of two penises underneath the name of Dion was also discovered in the same general area of the island, indicating "similar behavior on the part of Dion," according to Vlachopoulos. He returned to the island last week and resumed work on the excavation with a team of photographers, conservationists, and students.
Photo via The Guardian.