M4M :: World’s Oldest Erotic Graffiti is Gay

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Jul 7, 2014

The world's oldest erotic graffiti was recently discovered and experts say the carving of two penises engraved on a rock were made by an ancient Greek gay couple, the Guardian reports.

Dr. Andreas Vlachopoulos, a specialist in prehistoric archeology, discovered the graffiti in the ruins of Astypalaia -- a Greek island in the southeastern Aegean Sea. The inscriptions, which date back to the fifth and sixth centuries BC, were "so monumental in scale," that Vlachopoulos was certain about the motivation behind the artwork.

"They were what I would call triumphant inscriptions," he told the Guardian. "They claimed their own space in large letters that not only expressed sexual desire, but talked about the act of sex itself. And that is very, very rare."

Vlachopoulos, who trained at Princeton, found the graffiti while introducing students to the island and the Aegean Sea.

The artwork was chiseled into the outcrops of dolomite limestone that are throughout the island. The inscriptions also prove to show unprecedented insights into the private lives of ancient Greece. One inscription reads: "Nikasitimos was here mounting Timiona."

"We know that in ancient Greece sexual desire between men was not a taboo," Dr. Vlachopoulos added. "But this graffiti ... is not just among the earliest ever discovered. By using the verb in the past continuous [tense], it clearly says that these two men were making love over a long period of time, emphasizing the sexual act in a way that is highly unusual in erotic artwork. "

The artwork shows that humans have been boasting about their sex lives for centuries and that people have also been skilled at literacy.

"Whoever wrote the erotic inscription referring to Timiona was very well trained in writing," said Epigrapher Angelos Matthaiou, for more than 25 years the general secretary at the Greek Epigraphic Society. "The letters have been very skillfully inscribed on the face of the rock, evidence that it was not just philosophers, scholars and historians who were trained in the art of writing but ordinary people living on islands too."

Other graffiti has been found on rocks at the site, including carvings of oared ships, daggers and spirals, which represents waves in the sea.

"We know that Greek islands were inhabited by the third millennium BC., but what we have found is evidence that, even then, people were using a coded language of symbols and imagery that was quite sophisticated," said Dr. Vlachopoulos told the newspaper.


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