The phallus was a symbol of “good luck charm” to Ancient Romans.
Historical researchers have recently found a 1,800-year-old wall carving depicting a penis. This shows that people really never change.
Archaeologists from Newcastle University and Historic England discovered similar carvings in a quarry near Hadrian’s Wall, Cumbria, which are believed to have been made by Roman soldiers all the way back in 207 A.D.
Hadrian’s Wall was the barrier constructed by the Roman Empire to protect themselves from enemy hordes of barbarians.
What remains of the structure is a millennia-old wall. And the fact that it’s still standing to this day is a testament to its structural integrity.
Repairs were often required, and loyal soldiers would dutifully lug sandstone materials around, and patching them in parts threatening to crumble.
And when these Romans soldiers got bored enough, it seems they left their marks in various symbols.
According to Historic England, the phallus is a Roman symbol for ‘good luck,’ “so you can tell that to your mate the next time you draw one on his face when he gets drunk and drifts off at a house party.”
It wasn’t only the pennies symbol, though, the researchers also found several other carvings, including an inscription which read: ‘APRO ET MAXIMO CONSVLIBVS OFICINA MERCATI,’ about the consulate of Aper and Maximus and a Roman bust.
These inscriptions give historians an insight into the lives of ancient Roman soldiers. It turns out, these solders were pretty similar to lots of men today, according to study.
Mike Collins, who works as the Hadrian’s Wall ancient monuments inspector for Historic England, said in a statement:
“These inscriptions at Gelt Forest are probably the most important on the Hadrian’s Wall frontier.”
“They provide insight into the organization of the vast construction project that Hadrian’s Wall was, as well as some very human and personal touches, such as the caricatures of their commanding officer inscribed by one group of soldiers.”
The team of experts used ropes to get into the quarry, where they utilized laser-scanning technology to get detailed recordings of the markings.
Thanks to advancements in technology, researchers can now create three-dimensional digital models of these discoveries, meaning people can still look at these historical carvings for years to come.
Ian Haynes, professor of archaeology at Newcastle University, added:
“These inscriptions are very vulnerable to further gradual decay. This is a great opportunity to record them as they are in 2019, using the best modern technology to safeguard the ability to study them in the future.”