Little Horny Man Found in Brazil’s Lapa do Santo Cave

February 23, 2012 / Brazil, South America
The Little Horny Man of Lapa do Santo Cave

Photo via Human Evolutionary Studies laboratory / University of Sao Paulo

Researchers working in Lapa do Santo cave in central eastern Brazil have discovered what is believed to be the oldest rock carving found the Americas so far.

Found in 2009, during the end of a nine-year dig, the small petroglyph appears to be a man squatting with his arms outstretched. It is about 30 centimeters (12 inches) tall and about 20 centimeters (8 inches) wide.

One of the most outstanding features of the engraving is the oversized phallus. At about 5 centimeters (2 inches) long, it’s about as long as the man’s left arm. This has led researchers to dub the figure ‘the little horny man’.

Tests on the sediment covering the discovery show that it dates from somewhere between 9,000 and 12,000 years old. This makes it the oldest reliably dated rock art in the Americas.

During their excavations at Lapa do Santo researchers have uncovered buried human remains – some more than 9,000 years old -, stone and bone tools, the remains of fires and leftovers from meals.

The research has been published in the February 22nd issue of the journal PLoS ONE.

‘Little Horny Man': Rock Carving of Giant Phallus Discovered [LiveScience via Tim Morgan]

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