While deciphering an 1,800-year old Egyptian papyrus, scholars from the University of Chicago came across what seems to be what Live Science describes as an "erotic binding spell" meant to capture the affections of a man named Kephalas for a longing woman named Taromeway.
According to the media outlet, the papyrus features a depiction of ancient Egyptian god Anubis shooting an arrow into nude Kephalas, while the text calls upon a "noble spirit of the man of the necropolis" (a ghost, apparently) to give Kephalas “anxiety at midday, evening, and at all time" until the target of the spell seeks Taromeway with "his male organs pursuing her female organs."
"His emphasized penis and scrotum surely are intentional as the 'male organs' she specifically wants to pursue her," Robert Ritner, an Egyptology professor at the University of Chicago who is handling the translation, explained.
As Ritner and his colleague Foy Scalf note, while the existence of other similar spells from ancient Egypt is known, they were usually used by men seeking to attract women and not vice versa like in this case.
The spell itself was likely created by a hired expert, possibly a priest, rather than by the lady herself, Ritner added.
"Taromeway must have been both motivated and with some disposable means," he said.
The papyrus bearing the spell was then apparently buried in a tomb, with the person interred there likely being the ghost mentioned in the text.