UKs oldest sex toy from 2,000 years ago unearthed – splinters worry people

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    Archaeologists reckon they may have uncovered a 2,000-year-old sex toy in the UK.

    The object was actually discovered at the Roman fort of Vindolanda in Northumberland in 1992 but was initially thought to be a darning tool for sewing.

    Now, new analysis by experts at Newcastle University and University College Dublin suggests it could actually be a 6.3-inch dildo, which would make it the first known example of a self-pleasuring device found in the Roman world.

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    In a paper published in the journal Antiquity, the team revealed the ends of the penis were noticeably smoother than the rest of it, suggesting it had come into contact with something over and over again.

    However, researchers admit there could be other explanations for this – with the device possibly used as a pestle.

    A third possibility is that it was a penis slotted into a statue which passers-by would touch for good luck.

    Dr Rob Collins, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at Newcastle University, said: "The size of the phallus and the fact that it was carved from wood raises a number of questions to its use in antiquity.

    "We cannot be certain of its intended use, in contrast to most other phallic objects that make symbolic use of that shape for a clear function, like a good luck charm.

    "We know that the ancient Romans and Greeks used sexual implements – this object from Vindolanda could be an example of one."

    Speaking to the MailOnline, he added: "If the object is a sex toy, we believe it could be the oldest example from Britain."

    Dr Rob Sands, Lecturer in Archaeology at University College Dublin, said it was "extremely rare" for items like the Vindolanda phallus to survive as long as it has.

    He explained: "Wooden objects would have been commonplace in the ancient world, but only survive in very particular conditions – in northern Europe normally in dark, damp, and oxygen free deposits."

    Commenting online, people all had the same thing to say.

    One wrote: "l hope it was well-sanded before use. Can you imagine the splinters left?"

    Another asked: "Wouldn't splinters be a problem?"

    Others dubbed the object a "rampant Roman" and jokingly asked where the batteries would go.

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