Saltar apartados
  • UA
  • University News
  • Roman oil lamp decorated with erotic sce..t team at La Alcudia archaeological site

Roman oil lamp decorated with erotic scene of a woman and a herm has been unearthed during the excavations by a UA expert team at La Alcudia archaeological site

The phallus and the depiction of sexual intercourse were symbols of good luck and protection

Archaeological remains teach us to look at a history free of prejudices to build a new future

 

Lucerna_EscenaErotica1
Equipo_LaAlcudia_excavando
Equipo_Domus_LaAlcudia

Roman oil lamp found at La Alcudia archaeological site in Elche

Members of the Project Domus-La Alcudia. Vivir en Ilici excavando

Team members of the Project Domus-La Alcudia. Vivir en Ilici  

 

Alicante. 14 March 2017

A unique Roman oil lamp that retains part of a scene with marked sexual content, has been unearthed at La Alcudia archaeological site by the UA archaeological team working in the Project Domus-La Alcudia: Vivir en Ilici. An explicit love relationship between a woman and a herm is depicted on the lamp.

herm is a squared pillar with a male human head and - usually - male genitals were carved at the appropriate height. These pillars were very frequently used in the Greek world to represent the gods Hermes and Dionysus and used as protection landmarks for properties and pathways. Later on, in Roman culture, they were widely used to represent various figures until they were given a decorative value in a cultural context where these depictions of the sexual organs were considered prophylactic and bringers of good fortune.

This explicit image, like many others of seemingly erotic content that were largely used in everyday objects of the classical world and did not fall into the category of the obscene, but rather in a visual experience different from ours, which granted sexual intercourse and its depiction a magic, protector and sometimes religious meaning. The remains exhumed in La Alcudia allow us to look at the past with present eyes and build a history free of prejudice.

With this find, the team keeps on contributing to knowledge about the past of the old Iulia Ilici Augusta colony and, in particular, about its more modern phases corresponding to the time of the high Middle Ages.  

Domus - La Alcudia. Vivir en Ilici is a project from the UA-INAPH Archaeology & Heritage Institute, financed by the University of Alicante Programme for R&D+i Promotion 2016.

Photos courtesy of La Alcudia.

Articles related:

A small Roman Venus discovered while working on the Project Domus excavations La Alcudia archaeological site

The excavations of the Project Domus at La Alcudia have already started with experts, archaeologists and de Master's students

Website:

Project Domus-La Alcudia website. Vivir en Ilici.

https://web.ua.es/es/proyectodomus/noticias.html

University News


Universidad de Alicante
Carretera de San Vicente del Raspeig s/n
03690 San Vicente del Raspeig
Alicante (Spain)

Tel: (+34) 96 590 3400

Fax: (+34) 96 590 3464

For further information: informacio@ua.es, and for enquiries on this web server: webmaster@ua.es

Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig s/n - 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig - Alicante - Tel. 96 590 3400 - Fax 96 590 3464