The Greek island of Astypalaia
Those who believe that homosexuality is a relatively recent phenomenon might be surprised to learn that some of the world’s oldest erotic graffiti is about gay sex.
According to The Guardian, prehistoric archaeologist Dr Andreas Vlachopoulos came across the inscriptions four years ago on the Greek island of Astypalaia.
The markings, carved into the island’s rocky outcrops, are dated to the fifth and sixth centuries BC. They feature large penises and also describe gay sex acts.
Vlachopoulos said that the inscriptions “not only expressed sexual desire but talked about the act of sex itself.” One reads: “Nikasitimos was here mounting Timiona.”
Vlachopoulos explained that the ancient graffiti “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.”
The archaeologist believes that the site where the markings were found could have been where a garrison of soldiers was located.
“We know that in ancient Greece sexual desire between men was not a taboo. But this graffiti… is… among the earliest ever discovered,” he said.
Epigrapher Angelos Matthaiou commented that the graffiti revealed that “it was not just philosophers, scholars and historians who were trained in the art of writing but ordinary people living on islands too.”