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A Medieval Stone with a Surprising Purpose

Updated: Aug 6, 2023

Over the past few months, a number of new finds have stunned archaeologists and historians with how, exactly, they were used, and when.

By Walter S. Brackett III

According to the Urban Dictionary, one definition of “sword fighting” is “the act of two males attacking each other with their [phalluses] . . . typically played erect.”

Whether you thumbs up or down this definition, you may be interested to know that archeologists have recently uncovered a different connection between sword fighting and and the male genitalia, one that is revealed by an unusual discovery unearthed at a medieval fortress in Galicia, Spain: a six-inch stone phallus.

Scratches on the stone that show a distinct pattern of wear on one side of the phallus indicates that it may have been used by soldiers guarding the fortress to sharpen their swords before battle.

The medieval Tower of Meira (above) where the stone penis was discovered dates to the 14th century. It was demolished in 1476 during the Hirmandiña Revolt, an uprising against the nobility that led to the destruction of a large portion of the castles in that region of Spain. The site's historical context can "help us interpret this strange find,” archeological spokesperson Dario Peña-Pasqual, stated.

The object "materializes the symbolic association between violence, weapons, and masculinity, an association that existed in the Middle Ages and is present in our culture today," Peña-Pasqual noted.

Although sharpening tools are often found at medieval sites, ones that look like a phallus have rarely been discovered, making this find an unusual one.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Another rare phallic stone was recently uncovered at a Viking burial in Sweden. Measuring about 20 inches in height and made of marble, it was used in one of the graves as a headstone. Its original purpose, however, remains unknown.

For a video about this discovery, click here.


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