Ancient 'penis graffiti' uncovered at Roman fort reveals secret soldier feud from thousands of years ago

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have uncovered ancient x-rated content at a Roman fort that revealed a soldier feud from thousands of years ago.

The stone graffiti contains a crudely carved penis that "raised eyebrows" and a phrase that translates to a name alongside "the sh***er."


Experts think it's a personal insult toward a fellow soldier, reports.

The third-century stone was uncovered by a volunteer archaeologist on May 19 in the Northumberland countryside.

"I'd been removing a lot of rubble all week, and to be honest, this stone has been getting in my way," retired biochemist Dylan Herbert said in a statement.

Roman Vindolanda, the site where the graphic stone was uncovered, relies on the help of volunteers to discover ancient treasures.

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"I was glad when I was told I could take it out of the trench. It looked from the back like all the others, a very ordinary stone, but when I turned it over I was startled to see some clear letters," Herbert recounted.

Other than the explicit phallic imagery, the stone also featured the words, "SECVNDINVS CACOR."

Specialists say this is most likely translated to a "very personal insult."

The phrase roughly translates to "Secundinus, the sh***er," with an image to send the point home.

While the Roman phallus is often translated as a good luck charm or symbol of fertility, the graffiti artist seems to have taken a more negative approach with the imagery, experts surmise.

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"The recovery of an inscription, a direct message from the past, is always a great event on a Roman excavation," said CEO of the Vindolanda Trust Dr Andrew Birley.

"But this one really raised our eyebrows when we deciphered the message on the stone."

"Its author clearly had a big problem with Secundinus and was confident enough to announce their thoughts publicly on a stone. I have no doubt that Secundinus would have been less than amused to see this when he was wandering around the site over 1,700 years ago," Dr Birley jokingly explained.

The Vindolanda Trust said that the insult "reminds us that while the Roman army could be extremely brutal, especially to the native population, they were not immune to hurling insults at each other."

"This fabulous bit of social commentary from the ancient past will amuse visitors for many years to come."

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This discovery is the thirteenth phallus covering that has been discovered at Vindolanda.

The archaeologists at the site see this as a great sign for the rest of the excavation season.


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