July 24, 2021, 10:52

    Rare Roman millstone with giant penis engraving to be displayed in museum

    Rare Roman millstone with giant penis engraving to be displayed in museum

    A rare Roman stone with a giant penis engraved on it will be displayed in a town's museum from next week.

    The millstone dates back as far as the second century AD and is thought to be one of only four decorated with a penis in Britain.

    It was discovered in February and is among more than 20,000 Roman millstones logged in Britain over the years.

    The findings led to a large excavation of ancient artefacts during improvement works on the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

    More than 300 Roman objects were assessed by experts and other ancient findings included mammoth tusks as well as evidence of the first beer being brewed in the country.

    The phallic-designed millstone will be presented to Godmanchester Museum in a ceremony.

    Dr Ruth Shaffrey, an expert in Roman millstones, with the artefact that was discovered last year

    It will remain there until at least the end of the year.

    It is understood the Romans believed the penis brought them good luck as a symbol of strength and virility.

    Town mayor Cllr Cliff Thomas and museum curator Kate Hadley will be present for the ceremony.

    Expert in Roman millstones archaeologist Dr Ruth Shaffrey will speak about the significance of the stone.

    Ms Hadley said: “The stone’s rarity is phenomenal – one of just four in the whole of the Roman Province.

    "The millstone has massive magic properties and magic is at the foundation of the Roman Empire. These are to do with fertility, wealth, good harvest, heaven’s blessing and to ward off the evil eye.

    "The millstone is to help make bread which makes up about 70 per cent of the daily Roman British diet and of course soldiers were sometimes paid with bread, so the millstone is another foundation to Roman British society.

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    "The phallus has another set of magic properties – a phallus is often used on a house wall or jewellery to protect against the evil eye, for wealth, popularity, bravery (there are plenty on Hadrian’s Wall which were to encourage the soldiers there, but on bricks not millstones).

    "So a phallus on a millstone is double magic. This one was buried as a votive item before the Romans left.”

    It comes after two metal detectorists found a ‘nationally important’ Roman bronze hoard of artefacts – which later sold for £240,000.

    James Spark and Mark Didlick uncovered the bust of emperor Marcus Aurelius last year alongside a statuette of the god of Mars on horseback, a horse-head knife handle and a large bronze pendulum.

    The immaculately preserved items were buried in a field in Ryedale, North Yorks, as an offering to the gods as part of a Roman religious ceremony in about 160AD.

    The objects sold for a hammer price of £185,000 with Hansons Auctioneers, of Etwall, Derbys, following a bidding war.

    The winning bidder, a London buyer who was in the room, paid £240,500 including fees.

    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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