Friday, July 23, 2010

That's Not What It Is

Over there at Live Science, we learn that there was a little bit of excavating going on the other day in Sweden. I don't usually think of Sweden as a place that needs to be excavated, but I guess it does. Anyway, all of their excavating "...turned up an object that bears the unmistakable look of a penis carved out of antler bone." Of course. No, wait. What now?

Sometimes, I think of scientists as just like you and I (we would be the non-scientists). But when I read that sentence and learn that there IS an unmistakable look to an antler bone carved like a schlong that I realize that scientists see things in a whole different way than you and I. What was that? Oh, the bone? Heh-heh. (Pun totally intended.) Sure. Behold!

Well, they have a point. That's definitely penile look, I'll give them that. And according to a one G┼íran Gruber (you pronounce that any way you want to), a archaeologist of the National Heritage Board in Sweden, "Your mind and my mind wanders away to make this interpretation about what it looks like – for you and me, it signals this erected-penis-like shape...But if that's the way the Stone Age people thought about it, I can't say." Oh, please.

Look, if there's one thing that has been an unfortunate constant through time and all eternity, it has been the penis. We all know what it looks like and we all laugh when we see it. (Seriously, I do not know how you guys walk around with those things down there.) And I'm sure the Stone Age people did the same thing. Either way, that's not a very scientific way of explaining this thing. Anyone could do that. ("Uh, it kind of looks like this, but I dunno.")

Contributing to quotes without a lot of scientific mojo to them would be a one Swedish archaeologist Martin Rundkvist, who says that "Without doubt anyone alive at the time of its making would have seen the penile similarities just as easily as we do today." You don't say. So, people thousands of years ago would have recognized a penis if they saw one? Really? Fascinating. Or not.

They don't know whether it was a dildo or not. It doesn't take a scientist with a fancy Swedish name to figure that out. That Gruber guy said, "Perhaps instead of, or in addition to, its sexual purpose, the object may have been used as a tool, such as to chip flakes of flint". What? I understand the part about "instead of", but I became a bit confused with the infusion of "in addition to". Are they saying that ancient dildos also doubled as some sort of a chisel? That doesn't seem like a very good idea at all. (First of all, you really need to hold that chisel steady to get the most effective cut. It can't be slipping and sliding all over the place, you know.)

They also don't know what it was for even if it was a dildo, as the article states, "It's not immediately clear whether the tool would have been one most likely to be used by men or women or both." Now, when they say "tool", are they referring to a tool like a hammer or are they referring to a tool like something that gets the job done? Hard to say. Not sure I want to know, either. Wait a minute. It says that the thing " about 4 inches (10.5 cm) long and 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter." Four inches long? Not even an inch in diameter? It's not a dildo. Trust me. It's not a dildo.

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1 comment:

Mark said...

I can see the inherent limitations of antler bone as an artistic medium but if that is supposed to represent an "erected-penis-like shape" it was carved by some guy's ticked-off girlfriend so she could demonstrate to her friends why she left the guy. Or, I suppose, it could have come -- no pun intended, that's for sure -- off a carving of a guy just exiting some really cold Swedish water.

Actually, in the top picture it looks a lot like a small knife, maybe a skinning knife, with the pommel on the left, but without pictures from more angles who the hell can tell. Given its size or, more accurately, its lack thereof, I can agree with your conclusion of what it definitely isn't.