Archaeology: Four clay and stone phalluses found linked to cult of Priapus, museum head says

Written by on January 16, 2013 in Bulgaria, News - No comments

Four ancient stone and clay phalluses, of varying size, have been found in archaeological excavations in the Bulgarian Black Sea town of Sozopol, according to the director of the local history museum.

In early January 2013, the head of Bulgaria’s National History Museum Bozhidar Dimitrov said that an ancient temple to the Greek god Priapus has been found in Sozopol. Dimitrov, who hails from Sozopol, said that archaeologists had found a clay phallus inscribed “to Priapus” during a dig in the Black Sea town.

In an interview on January 16, the head of the History Museum in Sozopol, Dimitar Nedev, said that in Sozopol four ancient cult-object phalluses had been found during excavations.

One, made of stone, had been placed in a ritual pit from the late Neolithic period, along with fragments of a statue of the Mother Goddess, Nedev told local news agency Focus. This had been found in an area of the Gradina camp site, he said.

The phallus, the most ancient found on a site in the popular seaside summer resort, was very tiny and had been honed from a pebble. Two phalluses had been found on the island of St Kirik off Sozopol, and these were said to date from about the fifth century BCE.

Priapus was a fertility god and also took divine care of activities related to agriculture, including animal husbandry, beekeeping, and – with a bit of an overlap with the duties of Poseidon – also sailors and fishermen.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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