Archaeologists have uncovered a very cheeky Roman wind chime featuring a magical flying phallus.
The object is traces to second century CE
Discovered in the Roman settlement of Viminacium in Serbia, scientists believe this bizarre object dates back to the second century CE.
The wind chime, or tintinnabulum, would have been proudly displayed outside a shop or home in the wealthy part of town.
While it would likely be seen as an erotic symbol today, the phallus served a very different purpose back then.
The purposes of phallus
Experts say that this magical phallus’ jingling bells and unusual appearance were designed to scare away the evil eye and ‘penetrate’ malicious spirits.
While the artifact has been broken into a number of pieces, the bronze has been well preserved, allowing its shape to be determined.
Symbol of phallus
The amulet depicts a creature called a fascinum, which is a phallus with legs, wings, and multiple phalluses of its own.
The tintinnabulum also features four bells which would have caught the wind and made a noise believed to ward off evil.
Archaeologists say this may have also worked as a form of doorbell, ringing when someone entered.
Ilija Danković, an archaeologist at the Institute of Archaeology in Belgrade who discovered the wind-chime, told MailOnline that there was nothing erotic or unusual about these symbols.
What phallus really means
Instead, he says that the phallus was ‘a symbol of good fortune and protection.’ ‘The phallus was omnipresent in the Roman world,’ Danković told MailOnline.
‘You had children with amulets of phalluses, it was painted on walls of homes and shops, you even find it drawn on Hadrian’s wall.’
Phallic amulets, and the tintinnabulum in particular, were also believed to ward off the evil eye, which was one of the Romans’ main concerns.