German scientists are tickled pink after unearthing one of the world's oldest sculpted phalluses - 20cm of polished siltstone lovingly created around 28,000 years ago.
The stone schlong was discovered in Hohle Fels Cave near Ulm, Swabia, by a Tübingen University team. Professor Nicholas Conard, from the university's snappily-named department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology, explained the excitment to the BBC thus: "Female representations with highly accentuated sexual attributes are very well documented at many sites, but male representations are very, very rare."
Indeed, although other examples of male genitalia - from France and Morocco - predate the Ulm member, to have "any representation of male genitalia from this time period is highly unusual".
There may be a good reason for this - the German sausage bears the scars of having been used to knap flints, and was reassembled from 14 fragments. Despite this abuse, and in a delicious leap of imagination, Conard speculates that the life-size member may have been used as a prehistoric sex toy. As he suggestively notes: "It's highly polished."
Those interested in the sex lives of our distant ancestors will be able to cop an eyeful of the Hohle Fels phallus when it goes on show at a Blaubeuren prehistoric museum exhibition entitled "Ice Art - Clearly Male". ®