Unearthing Roman Intrigue: Archaeologists Uncover a Second Century C.E. Wind Chime Shaped Like a Mysterious Flying Object

Archaeologists have uncovered a very cheeky Roman wind chime featuring a magical flying phallus.

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.

Experts say that this magical phallus’ jingling bells and unusual appearance were designed to scare away the evil eye and ‘penetrate’ malicious spirits.

Roman wind chime discovered in Serbia featuring ‘prominent phallus’

image

While damaged, archaeologists could still see the bells, legs, and prominent phallus of this magical wind chime

The Roman city of Viminacium, where the wind chime was found, is 30 miles east of Serbia’s capital Belgrade and has never had any modern settlement built over its ruins

While the artifact has been broken into a number of pieces, the bronze has been well preserved, allowing its shape to be determined.

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.

image

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.

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.

image

Since tintinnabulum are usually found in centres of Roman culture such as Rome, Pompeii, and Herculaneum, the discovery of one is an indication of a very Romanized society

image

The fascinum, from which we get the word ‘fascinate’, was a supernatural living phallus with legs, wings, and multiple phalluses of its own

Romans believed the evil eye could come from people you passed on the streets, your enemies, or more abstract forces like evil spirits.

‘The phallus was usually a weapon, because it is a penetrating object it could penetrate the evil eye,’ Danković explained.

‘This object was meant to attack the evil eye and chase it away, it would protect the house from all kinds of entities and from people who meant to make harm.’

image

What remains of the Roman city of Viminacium is near the Serbian town of Kostolac, around 30 miles (50km) east of the capital Belgrade.

At its height, the city was home to 40,000 people including legions of the Roman army and was the capital of Rome’s Upper Moesia province between the first and fifth centuries.

The Roman city of Viminacium was the capital of the Upper Moesia province and was once one of the biggest settlements in the Balkans with a population of 40,000

image

The city was sacked by Attila the Hun in 441 CE before being rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor Justinian and ultimately destroyed by the Slavs in 553 CE.

The discovery of the wind chime was made just off the city’s main high street in a pile of burned rubble and beams.

Danković says it is not yet clear if just this one house had burned down or if this is evidence of a bigger fire that might have destroyed more of the city.

image

The experts excavating the site say that this discovery is particularly significant for understanding the culture of Viminacium.

‘Every bit of information is another piece of the mosaic that helps us understand everyday life,’ Danković said.

‘It is the kind of object you would find in highly Romanized parts of the Empire, it is significant because it shows that the city of Viminacium belonged to Roman cultural circles.’

image

Danković also says that the tintinnabulum was likely important from elsewhere in the Roman Empire, showing that Viminacium was home to rich social elites willing to pay a lot for such an item.

This is the second such tintinnabulum to be discovered at Viminacium, although the first remains in the hands of a private collector.

Related Posts

La tumba de Tutankamón cobra vida a través de fotografías históricas en color en 1922

A principios del siglo XX, Howard Carter, un egiptólogo británico, excavó durante muchos años en el Valle de los Reyes, un cementerio real ubicado en la orilla occidental de la antigua ciudad de Tebas, Egipto. Cuando Carter llegó a Egipto en 1891,…

Dentro de las principales zonas mineras de oro del mundo

El oro ha fascinado a la gente durante mucho tiempo porque representa riqueza, poder y estatus. Las principales minas de oro del mundo son el epicentro tanto de la diversidad geológica de la tierra como de la búsqueda de este metal precioso tan buscado. En este artículo,…

Maravilloso gran descubrimiento: cráneo de dinosaurio Triceratops perdido en Noruega

Por primera vez se exhibe en Noruega un cráneo de dinosaurio original completo gracias a una generosa donación privada. Hace 67 millones de años, el Triceratops “Roar” vagaba por las llanuras aluviales de América del Norte junto con otros dinosaurios conocidos de…

Fósiles de dinosaurios prístinos revelados en rocas prehistóricas

En una gran revelación que ha resonado en todo el ámbito de la paleontología, se ha descubierto un esqueleto fósil de dinosaurio casi completo, inactivo durante más de 49 millones de años debajo de capas de roca antigua. Este sorprendente hallazgo ofrece…

El descubrimiento de una momia de elefante gigante de 6 millones de años ilumina la antigua cultura funeraria

En un giro inesperado y esperado de los acontecimientos, los paleontólogos han anunciado un descubrimiento notable en Florida: los antiguos restos de un elefante encajonado deliberadamente por humanos, que datan de hace aproximadamente 6 millones de años. El hallazgo es un desafío…

Desenterrando un mausoleo de 4.400 años de antigüedad sin rastro de violación

Los arqueólogos egipcios descubrieron la tumba de un sacerdote que data de hace más de 4.400 años en el complejo piramidal de Saqqara, al sur de la capital, El Cairo. El ministro de Antigüedades, Khaled al-Enany, dijo a una audiencia de invitados, entre ellos periodistas de la AFP: “Es…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *