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Image Gallery: The Little Horny Man

Cool Cave Discovery

Researchers have discovered a stick figure man with a giant phallus in the Lapa do Santo cave in central-eastern Brazil. The region is home to Luzia, the oldest human skeleton found to date in South America. Shown here, the outside of the limestone format

(Image credit: Mariana Inglez/ photo collection of Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies - University of São Paulo.)

Researchers have discovered a stick figure man with a giant phallus in the Lapa do Santo cave in central-eastern Brazil. The region is home to Luzia, the oldest human skeleton found to date in South America. Shown here, the outside of the limestone formation where the cave shelter is located.

Lapa do Santo

A panoramic view of the central excavation area of the Lapa do Santo rock shelter.

(Image credit: photo collection of Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies - University of São Paulo.)

A panoramic view of the central excavation area of the Lapa do Santo rock shelter.

Excavation Work

Researchers work on excavating the central area of Lapa do Santo.

(Image credit: photo collection of Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies - University of São Paulo.)

Researchers work on excavating the central area of Lapa do Santo.

Deep Discovery

The excavation of this area took some nine years and was supported by FAPESP. At the base of this archaeological deposit, at an approximate depth of 13 feet (4 meters) below the surface, researchers discovered the anthropomorphic figure.

(Image credit: photo collection of Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies - University of São Paulo.)

The excavation of this area took some nine years and was supported by FAPESP. At the base of this archaeological deposit, at an approximate depth of 13 feet (4 meters) below the surface, researchers discovered the anthropomorphic figure.

Cave Excavation

Partial view of the central excavation area of Lapa do Santo.

(Image credit: photo collection of Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies - University of São Paulo.)

Partial view of the central excavation area of Lapa do Santo.

Human Burials

One of the most common archaeological discoveries at Lapa do Santo was that of human burials. During the period of the project called "Origins," 26 human skeletal remains (some of them reaching an antiquity around 9,000 years before present) were recovere

(Image credit: photo collection of Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies - University of São Paulo.)

One of the most common archaeological discoveries at Lapa do Santo was that of human burials. During the period of the project called "Origins," 26 human skeletal remains (some of them reaching an antiquity around 9,000 years before present) were recovered from this rock shelter.

Phallic Find

– During the last stage of the excavation of the so-called unit FG of Lapa do Santo, the archaeologists were surprised to discover a pecked petroglyph, a stick figure of a man with a relatively oversized phallus.

(Image credit: photo collection of Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies - University of São Paulo.)

– During the last stage of the excavation of the so-called unit FG of Lapa do Santo, the archaeologists were surprised to discover a pecked petroglyph, a stick figure of a man with a relatively oversized phallus.

Small Figure

The figure, which appears to be squatting with his arms outstretched, is about 12 inches (30 centimeters) tall from head to feet and about 8 inches (20 cm) wide.

(Image credit: photo collection of Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies - University of São Paulo.)

The figure, which appears to be squatting with his arms outstretched, is about 12 inches (30 centimeters) tall from head to feet and about 8 inches (20 cm) wide.

Little Horny Man

The researchers suspect the petroglyph of the man with the oversized phallus, which they have dubbed "the little horny man," was likely used in fertility rituals.

(Image credit: photo collection of Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies - University of São Paulo.)

The researchers suspect the petroglyph of the man with the oversized phallus, which they have dubbed "the little horny man," was likely used in fertility rituals. [Read full story]