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 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.
Researchers work on excavating the central area of Lapa do Santo.
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.
Partial view of the central excavation area of Lapa do Santo.
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.
– 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.
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. [Read full story]
Sign up for the Live Science daily newsletter now
Get the world’s most fascinating discoveries delivered straight to your inbox.