Rare Roman penis pendant unearthed in historic find

Rare Roman penis pendant unearthed in historic find
Metal detectorist spooked after unearthing 19th century 'witch bottle' containing hair, urine ...
Chris Langston, SWNS

A rare silver Roman penis pendant unearthed on a farm in Kent has been described as a “significant national find” and classified as treasure.

The phallic amulet was discovered by 73-year-old metal detectorist Wendy Thompson and is only the second silver one to be found in the UK from the Roman era and with such a unique design.

A retired estate agent, Thompson said: “It was only a tiny thing really. We were just as normal, covering a field up and down with a metal detector.

“I turned over this spade of earth and there it was, about eight inches down, I guess. I thought it was about 2,000 years old and it was.”

Thompson made the incredible find on New Year’s Eve in 2020 on a farm in Higham, near Gravesend and Strood.

The silver penis measured at 1.2 inches long (31mm) and weighed just 0.3 ounces (9.7 grams).

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It is thought to date back to between 43AD and 410AD and after an inquest at County Hall in Maidstone on May 26, it was classified as treasure.

Roger Hatch, the coroner at the inquest, described the item and detailed its “foreskin, shaft and pubes”, before reading a short report from the British Museum.

While the report said it was difficult to pinpoint an exact date the pendant would have been made, it “points to the Roman era”.

Out of the previous 451 phallic objects from Roman Britain recorded, only one other is silver – a dual-sided pendant from the Caerleon bathhouse, also featuring testes.

Throughout the Roman period, the penis was seen as a sign of power and virility so phallic imagery was commonly expressed in artwork.

Hundreds of phallic objects from the Roman period have been found in Britain, but most are made of copper.

A report into the object stated: "It is likely that this pendant is depicting a flaccid macrophallus, rather than an erect one, with the possibility that, rather than representing the ability to target and defeat the evil eye, a lack of control and an almost barbaric sexuality is suggested."

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