Last updated February 16th 2015
(Photo: Uzi Avner)
Some 100 Neolithic ‘cult sites’ containing phallic carvings and sculptures have been unearthed in the Eilat Mountains in Israel. The 8,000-year old prehistoric artifacts also include graves and human-like statues, according to Live Science.
Archaeologists say the findings – including penis stone structures and relics with “elongated perforation (vulva-shape)” cut into them – could symbolize death or fertility.
“The circle is a female symbol, and the elongated cell is a male one (phallus),” Uzi Avner, a researcher with the Arava-Dead Sea Science Center and the Arava Institute, told Live Science.
The findings were recently published in the Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society.
The team noted in the journal that the high number of cult sites discovered near Eilat probably means there are many more in the Negev, Jordan and Sinai areas still waiting to be found.