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Bronze Dildos Discovered In 2,000-Year-Old Chinese Tomb

Experts also uncovered a few jade butt plugs.

Findings from a recent archaeological dig show that a group of Han dynasty elites liked things a little wild in the bedroom.

During a series of excavations of tombs in the Jiangsu province of China, researchers discovered a large assortment of 2,000-year-old objects, including: ceramics, loofahs, vessels and a variety of bronze dildos and jade butt plugs.

銅祖 盱眙大雲山1號墓出土 西漢早期。南京博物院版權所有。 Phallus, unearthed from Tomb 1, Dayun Mountain, Xuyi, Jiangsu. Western Han period (206 BCE–9 CE), 2nd century BCE. Bronze. Nanjing Museum. Photograph © Nanjing Museum.

However, experts believe the butt plugs were used less for sexual pleasure than for spiritual preservation. At the time, Jade was a priceless commodity that was believed to ward off the effects of decay. Therefore, embalmers would often use them to seal up the bodies of the elite to prevent any post-death leaks.

“The jade plugs are used to seal the body and keep in vital essences that can leak out during life and death,” exhibition curator Fan Zhang told IFLScience. “Basically, it is to maintain the qi. The most important orifice was the mouth, and we have a beautiful example of a mouth seal in the shape of a cicada in the exhibition.”

ancient-dildo

Though the jade plug may not have been a kinky sex object, researchers are fairly certain that the phallus-shaped objects were worn as massive strap-on dildos, most likely by men.

“Useable bronze dildos are still relatively rare finds, though far from unheard of, and they are occasionally found in elite tombs,” Zhang added. “They were all definitely made for use, and we can speculate based on their various bases how they were worn… though it’s not clear if they were designed for men or women… though the phallus without the ring form was likely for a man since it was found in a king’s tomb.”

These artifacts had been lying untouched for thousands of years, but will now go on display for the first time outside of China in the upcoming “Tomb Treasures” exhibition at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

Texas native with a penchant for strong margaritas, early Babs and tastefully executed side-eye.