Roman sex artefacts on show at Germany’s Trier museum

February 29th, 2008 - 8:00 pm ICT by admin  

Trier (Germany), Feb 29 (DPA) Erotic carvings and excavated Roman artefacts connected to sex will go on display Saturday in Germany’s best-preserved ancient Roman city Trier. The temporary exhibition, 100,000 Years of Sex, comprises 250 items, mainly archaeological.

They date back to the Stone Age and show how our ancestors experienced lust and procreation, said Mechthild Neyses-Eiden, deputy director of the museum.

Devised in the Netherlands and first mounted in 2003 in another museum, the exhibition is being supplemented at the Rhenish Museum in Trier with about 50 local Roman-period artefacts recovered by archaeologists.

Trier - called Treveris by the Romans - has several well-preserved buildings, such as a town gate, an arena and a church, from the time when it was a principal northern city of the late Roman Empire.

The original exhibition includes primitive objects representing feminine charms, explicit pictures on Greek vases, a medieval chastity belt and an 1813 item described as the world’s oldest condom.

The show, inaugurated with a party Thursday evening, runs from Saturday till June 22. It will be repeated for the last time in the German city of Heilbronn in July 2009.

Neyses-Eiden said it was important to study past attitudes to sex in a neutral way. She said the show illustrated how different historical periods had differing attitudes.

“Things we regard as normal now were regarded as revolting in medieval times,” she said. Referring to child sex, she noted that some things allowed among the Greeks were taboo or illegal nowadays.

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