2519_00_ma_krokodil

Crocodile or elephant dung

Contraceptive grains

As the dung contains substances that were believed to have spermicidal or at least sperm-inhibiting effect, small grains of animal dung inserted into the vagina served in the past as contraceptives.

Around 1850 B.C. the so called papyrus Kahun was completed in Ancient Egypt, containing recipes against female diseases. One passage suggests on contraception: "Not allow woman to get pregnant. Crocodile dung be pounded in fermented plant gunk..."

Another 1.000 years later, still recommendations to use animal dung for contraception could be found in Arabian books, such as in the ‘Canon of the Medicine’ by Avicenna, 11th century A.D. In this book, elephant dung was being recommended instead of the crocodile one.

Sources: Robert Jütte, Lust ohne Last – Geschichte der Empfängnisverhütung (Lust without burdens – History of Contraception), and Norman E. Himes, Medical History of Contraception

The presented item is freeze-dried crocodile dung from the zoo Schönbrunn,Vienna.

 

Inventory number: 2519
Material: dung
Dimensions, in cm: 4 x 3,5
Condition: good