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Ancient Aegean Erotic Drawings Uncovered

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Dr. Andreas Vlachopoulos, a scientist who has been conducting fieldwork on the island of Astypalaia since 2010, was quite shocked when he came across several ancient, erotic graffiti inscriptions on the island, according to The Guardian.

Vlachopoulos is a specialist in prehistoricarchaeology, and he discovered these racy carvings – which date back almost 2,500 years – while teaching a group of students on the remote and rocky Aegean island. The professor described the drawings to the Guardian as "monumental in scale."

"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 newspaper. "And that is very, very rare."

While at first the importance of this graffiti may not be apparent, the drawings actually give an invaluable glimpse into the lives of the archaic and classical Greeks. One of the sketches, titled "Nikasitimos was here mounting Timiona (Νικασίτιμος οἶφε Τιμίονα)" confirms that in Ancient Greece, a sexual relationship between two men was not considered taboo, and that these relationships often lasted over long periods of time.

The inscriptions are also accompanied by writings, which shed light on the impressive literacy of the Ancient Greeks.

Angelos Matthiaou, an epigrapher at the Greek Epigraphic Society, says "The letters have been very skillfully inscribed on the face of the rock, evidence that it was not just philosophers, scholars and historians who were trained in the art of writing but ordinary people living on islands too".

This discovery on Astypalaia, an island primarily famed for its ancient cemeteries, highlights the potential value of properly excavating other Greek islands.

According to Vlachopoulos, because most Greek islands have not been completely explored, there are endless possibilities as to the artifacts they could contain.