World’s oldest pornography dates back 4000 years
But one little-known, mysterious archaeological site does. The Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs are bas-relief carvings in a massive red-basalt outcropping in the remote Xinjiang region of northwest China.
The artwork includes the earliest—and some of the most graphic—depictions of copulation in the world.
The petroglyphs - thought to date back to the second millennium BC, although their exact age is difficult to determine - were discovered in the late Eighties by Chinese archaeologist Wang Binghua.
Jeannine Davis-Kimball, an expert on Eurasian nomads, was the first Westerner to see them.
Though she wrote about the carvings in scholarly journals, they remain obscure. Google retrieves only a few results, depending on the spelling. The petroglyphs deserve more attention.
The cast of 100 figures presents what is obviously a fertility ritual (or several). They range in size from more than nine feet tall to just a few inches.
All perform the same ceremonial pose, holding their arms out and bent at the elbows. The right hand points up and the left hand points down, possibly to indicate earth and sky.
The few scholars who have studied the petroglyphs think that the larger-than-life hourglass figures that begin the tableau symbolize females. They have stylized triangular torsos, shapely hips and legs, and they wear conical headdresses with wispy decorations.
Male images are smaller triangles with stick legs and bare heads. Ithyphallic is archeology-talk for “erect penis,” and nearly all of the males have one.
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