Word's Earliest Erotic Graffiti Found, And It's Gay!
Leave it to us gays to be responsible for the world's oldest erotic graffiti. Discovered recently on Astypalia, a remote, wind-swept and therefore unlikely island in the Agean, scientists say the inscription involves phalluses and a racy transcript.
The inscriptions, both dating to the fifth and sixth centuries BC, were "so monumental in scale" – and so tantalizingly clear – [Dr Andreas Vlachopoulos] was left in no doubt of the motivation behind the artworks.
"They were what I would call triumphant inscriptions," said the Princeton-trained professor who found them while introducing students to the ancient island world of the Aegean. "They claimed their own space in large letters that not only expressed sexual desire but talked about the act of sex itself," he told the Guardian. "And that is very, very rare."
Chiselled into the outcrops of dolomite limestone that dot the cape, the inscriptions have provided invaluable insight into the private lives of those who inhabited archaic and classical Greece. One, believed to have been carved in the mid-sixth century BC, proclaimed: "Nikasitimos was here mounting Timiona (Νικασίτιμος οἶφε Τιμίονα).
"We know that in ancient Greece sexual desire between men was not a taboo," added Dr Vlachopoulos, who returned to the far-flung island last week to resume work with a team of topographers, photographers, conservationists and students. "But this graffiti … is not just among the earliest ever discovered. By using the verb in the past continuous [tense], it clearly says that these two men were making love over a long period of time, emphasising the sexual act in a way that is highly unusual in erotic artwork. "
Scientists suspect that a Greek army once used the island as barracks, given its location and remoteness. In all likelihood, the inscriptions were etched by the hands of amorous Greek soldiers.
As beautiful as that sounds, think about this: Even though the evidence—in this case, giant phalluses—is immediately before us, don't expect the anti-gay movement to admit that the LGBT community has been around for millennia. We've been here for centuries, we're queer, you're still not used to us.