The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #171928   Message #4166212
Posted By: Sandra in Sydney
26-Feb-23 - 04:24 PM
Thread Name: Armchair Archaeologist (via Google Earth) pt 2
Subject: RE: Armchair Archaeologist (via Google Earth) pt 2
further to my post of 20 Feb 23 - 05:11 AM

It’s not a Roman dildo, it’s a drop spindle

Linsey Duncan-Pitt offers another explanation for the 2,000-year-old artefact that’s being touted as a sex toy

As an avid spinner of yarn who uses a drop spindle, a dildo was not the first explanation that came to mind when I perused your article and the accompanying image (It’s not a darning tool, it’s a very naughty toy: Roman dildo found, 20 February). The artefact looks very much like the dealgan or farsadh, a type of drop spindle.

The tip looks a little glans-like, but it is also like the notch at the pointed end of the dealgan, used to secure the spun fibre with a half-hitch. The spindle is then rotated to add twist to the drafted fibres, and the spun fibre is wound around the shaft. The base of the artefact is wider than the tapering shaft; that would help stop the fibre slipping off. Some dealgans have a notch on the base, but not all.

Given that it was found among other crafting materials, this would seem to be a much more feasible explanation for this object than a dildo. It’s a bit understated as a dildo, and would no doubt make for a more satisfying spin than anything else.

Modern spinners like me love a decorative and unusual spindle, and so it seems more logical that this was a cheeky Roman design.

Linsey Duncan-Pitt
Telford, Shropshire


Antique French drop spindles see 3rd image