The Temporary Exhibition of the Mechanism and the Antikythera shipwreck...>>

Phallus-shaped pendant with suspension hole

Material: Green glass paste
Provenance: Antikythera shipwreck. From the material retrieved in 1976
Date: 1st c. BC
Dimensions: H. 0.021 m
Inv. no: Athens, National Archaeological Museum, 30664
Exhibition Place:Temporary Exhibitions Wing, Room II

Usually made of faience or glass paste, phallus- shaped pendants were thought to have apotropaic properties. Talismans of this type were common in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt and in most Roman provinces. In fact, they were intended particularly for children.

Similar pendants, usually dated to the 1st c. BC, have been found at Delos and Dura-Europos also dated to the 1st c. BC.

The pendant's discovery in the shipwreck suggests that a young boy or girl slave may have been aboard the ship.

The tradition of talismans began in Egypt, which is considered the home of magic. The great variety of Egyptian charms influenced the production of contemporary and later ones -from prehistoric Aegean pendants to Christian crosses. Talismans were thought to protect against and intimidate evil spirits.

Βιβλιογραφία: Γ. Βαφειάδης, «Ο φαλλός ως αποτροπαϊκό σύμβολο κατά την αρχαιότητα» στον τόμο: Χ. Μερκούρη (εκδ.), Βάσκανος-Οφθαλμός, Σύμβολα Μαγείας από Ιδιωτικές Αρχαιολογικές Συλλογές, Αθήνα 2010, 57-63, εικ. 11 α-δ. Ph. Bruneau, La vaisselle, στον τόμο: L'ilot de la Maison des Comediens, Delos XXVII, Paris 1970, 239-265, πίν 39. Dura -Europos. The Excavations at Dura-Europos: Preliminary Report. 9,1: Ninth Season of work, 1935-1936. The Agora and Bazaar, New Haven 1944, 50, αρ. 19, τάφος 23. W. M. Flinders, Amulets, Surrey 1914. Ν. Σταμπολίδης - Γ. Τασούλας , (εκδ.) ΕΡΩΣ. Από τη Θεογονία του Ησιόδου στην ύστερη αρχαιότητα, Κατάλογος Έκθεσης, Μουσείο Κυκλαδικής Τέχνης, Αθήνα 2009, 276-277.

Position in the museum