Little Penises and Other Tiny Artifacts Were Discovered in Pompeii

Illustration for article titled Little Penises and Other Tiny Artifacts Were Discovered in Pompeii
Image: Archaeological Park of Pompeii

I’d sort of thought we already knew what there was to know about the ancient city of Pompeii (extremely old; covered in ash; home of snack bars), but apparently, archeologists are still digging up unexpected new shit! Specifically, they recently unearthed a treasure trove of tiny artifacts—including very small penises—that seem to have been part of a sorceress’s tool kit.

According to Smithsonian, researchers have been excavating a part of the city known as Regio V, which is where they found a rotted wooden box whose contents were still very much intact. Specifically, they located “around 100 little objects, including buttons made of bone, carved scarab beetles, miniature penises, crystals, tiny skulls and little dolls.” It’s like the Polly Pocket of my macabre dreams!

Because none of the objects in the trove were gold, it’s likely the kit was owned by a slave or servant, possibly for ritual use in ceremonies for fertility, seduction, or warding off death. 


“There are dozens of good luck charms next to other objects that were attributed to the power of crushing bad luck,” said Massimo Osanna, Pompeii’s chief archeologist. Its also possible the owner may still be in the house where the box was found, since archeologists also found the remains of around ten victims.

Excavation of Pompeii—which was famously buried when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D—has been ongoing at various points since the late 16th century, though it’s been stalled thanks to invasions, wars, natural disasters and budget shortfalls, according to the Daily Beast.

Lately, there has been growing controversy over whether too much of the area has been excavated without proper attention paid to preserving what’s already been discovered. If you ask me, it seems like we can call it a day now that we’ve found the little penises. How are they going to top that?

Night blogger at Jezebel

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Some of those things (NOT the tiny dicks) look like the crap my grandkids get in those yucky, overpriced Kinder eggs.