The news outlet reported that they initially suspected that the object found in Vindolanda’s moat might be the earliest example of a wooden phallus found anywhere in the former Roman Empire.
Trying to figure out what exactly the penile-themed wooden object could have been used for, experts once again suspected that it could be a symbol of good luck or a tool for crushing ingredients or a darning tool.
Reports say the controversial item was found at the site near Hexham, Northumberland, along with dozens of shoes, accessories, leather off-cuts and other small tools.
Now there is a new turn of events as experts from Newcastle University and University College Dublin have suggested that it may have been used for some sexual activities.
According to experts, both ends of the wooden object are remarkably smooth, indicating that it may have been used over time for some sexual purpose.
“We know that the ancient Romans and Greeks used sexual instruments – this object from Vindolanda may be an example.” Dr Rob Collins, senior lecturer in archeology at Newcastle University, said as quoted by the BBC.
Also, amid the confusion, archaeologists reportedly suspect that the object in question may have been used as a pestle to grind ingredients for cosmetics or medicine.
The BBC reports that the reason it has the shape of a penis may have been thought to add perceived magical properties to the material used to crush it.
Meanwhile, in an article in the journal Antiquities, it is suspected that the object, now on display at the Vindolanda Trust, may have been slotted into the statue and then rubbed for good luck.
“The wooden phallus may currently be unique in its survival from this time, but it is unlikely to be the only type used on the site, along the frontier or in Roman Britain.” Barbara Birley, curator of the Vindolanda Trust, said:
Basically, as it stands now, it remains a mystery what exactly the ancient Romans used for the large and long wooden penis-like object.