Ever wondered what the world’s first sex toy looked like? Researchers in Germany have your answer. Archaeologists at the University of Tubingen pieced together a 30,000-year-old siltstone phallus, deducing its purpose from the rings carved near one polished end. The tool is a rare discovery for such researchers, who more commonly find female-inspired artifacts.
But the creators of this prehistoric sex toy had other goals as well: the structure doubled as a tool to ignite fires when struck against a flint. In addition to the markings at one end, it shows wear and tear that indicates the cavemen’s (and cavewomen’s) ingenuity.
The researchers hypothesize that the structure broke into pieces before its owner threw it aside. Perhaps the tool stopped lighting adequate fires, or maybe it suffered from other types of overuse. We may never know.