A large stone penis has been uncovered by archaeologists in Sweden who believe it may have been used for sacrificial fertility rituals.
The impressive 21-inch stone was discovered during an excavation in Rollsbo near Gothenburg.
It was originally thought to be a Bronze Age grave but has now been linked to a fertility cult.
Archaeologist Gisela Ängeby told local paper the Göteborgs-Posten: ‘It has a distinct phallus shape. I thought when I came across it that “oh my god it can’t be true.”
‘I showed the picture to colleagues and there is no discussion, it has a very penis-like shape.’
Phallic stones often show up during excavations but it is rare to find one so closely modeled on the real thing, leading the team to their fertility ritual theory.
In addition to the stone phallus, the archaeologists found animal bones and shaped stones.
No human bones were found, leading them to discard their original theory of a graveyard but evidence show that animals may have been slaughtered there as part of a fertility ritual.
The researchers believe it was a sacrificial site from the later part of the Bronze Age, between 1800 and 500 BC.
Gisela said: ‘I believe that in connection with the erection, it was used to offer sacrifices, for example within the framework of a fertility cult.’
Remarkably, the archaeologists believe the stone may have had its shape naturally before it was later refined.