The "Gdańsk dildo," found four years ago during archaeological research conducted in the historical center of Gdańsk, Poland, is presented to the public for the first time. The 18th-century leather erotic toy can be viewed for a month in the Archaeological Museum in Gdańsk.
"Our museum became its owner in January. The object has been subjected to conservation and now, until the end of August, it will be displayed in a display case in the entrance hall, where we present the Ancient Object of the Month," Marcin Fedoruk from the promotion department of the Archaeological Museum told RAP.
The artificial phallus was found in the spring of 2015 during archaeological excavations conducted in the historical center of Gdańsk, on Podwale Przedmiejskie (Ramparts) Street.
It was discovered in one of the latrines.
The museum explained that the latrine was in a suburban area, near a fencing school, hypothesizing that the latrines could have been in the back of the tenement houses which could have served as the fencers’ private housing.
Red light district
This area was also a known red-light district, the reason behind the name of Zbytki (Excess) Street.
"It is completely filled with animal bristle. The head had been made of fabric (velvet), which was probably meant to enhance the erotic experience," the museum described in a press release.
The erotic toy had been sown from one piece of leather and formed into the shape of a penis and two testicles.
"Erotic accessories have been present in culture from the dawn of history, some items had symbolic value (magical), others were used practically to satisfy sexual needs," the museum explained, adding that such objects were considered "luxury items".
"Over the centuries, dildos were crafted from various materials, such as stone, bone, or glass. The first written mention of artificial penises made of leather originated in Ancient Greece," the museum continued.
"Over the centuries, dildos were crafted from various materials, such as stone, bone, or glass. The first written mention of artificial penises made of leather originated in Ancient Greece."Archaeological Museum in Gdańsk
"The city of Miletus was not only a cultural and economic center but also a place famous for the manufacture and sale of artificial phalluses. The Greeks used them as an item of delight, calling them olisbos. These objects were made of stone, wood, and tanned leather," they added.