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roman phallus millstone unearthed during road improvement

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“There were known associations between images of the phallus and milling, such as those found above the bakeries of Pompeii, one inscribed with Hic Habitat Felicitas – You Will Find Happiness Here,” he said

“The phallus was seen as an important image of strength and virility in the Roman world, with it being common practice for legionaries to wear a phallus amulet, which would give them good luck before battle.”

roman phallus millstone unearthed during road improvement

The millstone had been broken during its use and was then adapted, which preserved the carvings as it was then reversed to be used as a saddle quern, one of the bed stones used in the grinding process, hiding the genital carving

“It offers insights into the importance of the mill to the local community and to the protective properties bestowed upon the millstone and its produce (the flour) by the depiction of a phallus on its upper surface.”

millstone bluff - shawneeforest.com

Experience prehistoric Illinois on your hike at Millstone Bluff. This unique peak into a prehistoric Native American community offers more variety than any other archaeological dig in Southern Illinois. This Mississippian dwelling area was inhabited between 1492, when Columbus “discovered” the New World, and 1540, the year Hernando De Soto began his trek through the Southeastern United States

From the parking lot, view the spectacular bluffs that jut out from the surrounding flat terrain. Hike in at the trailhead and follow the ¾ mile wood chipped path to the top of the bluffs. The incline is mild but continues gradually until it reaches the top of the 320 foot bluff; benches are available for resting and soaking in the natural woodland splendor of the surrounding area

Upon reaching the top, follow the trail straight to see unique petroglyphs etched into the rock by the Mississippians almost 500 years ago including bird and spider images or follow the circular trail to the left to see what remains of this ancient settlement. Please, stay on the trail to preserve these unique insights into Native American history

The Mississippians built semi subterranean dwellings. The walls were woven with branches forming a basket-like enclosure then packed with clay for protection from heat and cold. The dwellings often caught fire leaving solid clay remnants that were useful for analyzing the Mississippians’ building practices

millstone bluff - shawneeforest.com

In warm weather, this Native American tribe primarily cooked outside, but in poor weather conditions, prepared food indoors on a clay hearth. These dwellings were typically used for around twenty years and then were destroyed and filled with remnants disposed by the culture. Some of the artifacts found within the abandoned dwelling areas include Mississippian arrow points, stone knives, celts (small polished axes), and chert used for re-sharpening stone hoes

The presence of gardening tools suggest that the Mississippians that inhabited the area were farmers who most likely tended crops in the floodplain of Bay Creek. For more information on the archaeological significance of the Millstone Bluffs area, visit the USDA’s report on the archaeological findings at Millstone Bluff

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