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2,000-Year-Old Decorated Millstone Analyzed in England

Friday, February 19, 2021

England Phallus MillstoneCAMBRIDGESHIRE, ENGLAND—Peterborough Today reports that a fragment of a Roman-era millstone engraved with crosses and a phallus was among artifacts recovered in 2017 and 2018 during the A14 highway construction in the East of England. When the millstone broke, the piece was adapted for hand grinding with the carving on the bottom so that it was preserved. Only four such decorated millstones have been found in Britain, according to team member Ruth Shaffrey of Oxford Archaeology South, who analyzed the stone. “The millstone is important as it adds to the evidence for such images of the phallus and milling, such as those found above the bakeries of Pompeii, one inscribed with ‘Hic habitat felicitas’ – ‘You will find happiness here,’” added archaeologist Steve Sherlock of Highways England. The phallus image projected strength and virility, he explained. For more on archaeological discoveries made during the A14 construction project, go to "Letter from England: Building a Road Through History."

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