Some matters in life never change. Although some may think of graffiti as something from the adolescents of our time, that is not very true. Graffiti has existed just about for some time has written language, and graffiti may also be an invaluable archeological tool in learning about peoples of long ago.
Graffiti can provide a much better understanding of the everyday life and attitudes from the Roman along with other ancient people and permit scholars to understand how everyday people talked, where they spent their time, as well as their interactions within those spaces.
Graffiti of Ancient Phoenicians and Aramaic
Abydos Graffiti In Egypt:
Abydos is among the oldest cities in ancient Egypt and used to be the main city from the kingdom. One of many attractions there today may be the Temple of Seti I. This ancient temple was built by Pharaoh Seti I and handle by his son, the truly amazing Ramasses II.
But inscribed on its ancient walls is the ancient Abydos graffiti. This graffiti is ancient Phoenician and Aramaic graffiti (the Phoenicians were from today's Lebanon). Much of the graffiti represents prayers and votive dedications (so perhaps not what you might expect on the streets from today's teens).
- Name: The Inscriptions Are Known Archaeologically as KAI 49, CIS I 99-110 and RES 1302ff.
These inscriptions are really important regarding the discovery of the Abydos graffiti, very few Semitic inscriptions had been found in Egypt.
Abu Simbel Phoenician graffiti:
There is much more ancient Phoenician graffiti to be found in Egypt, this time in southern Egypt at the famous Abu Simbel rock-cut temples. These are the iconic temples that have four giant Pharaoh Ramesses II statues seated and guarding the temples out the front.
- Name: The Inscriptions Are Known Archaeologically As CIS I 111 -113
- Colossal Ramesses II Statues: Have A Variety of Graffiti, Including From Both Phoenicians and Greeks
They were first noticed by Jean-Jacques Ampère in 1845 (actually Richard Lepsius had noticed them two years earlier, but his work was published later). The 2 inscriptions take presctiption one of the legs from the great Ramesses II.
In fact, there is a variety of graffiti on the colossal statues of Ramesses II and far of it is Greek. The very best known is really a five-line Ionic Greek inscription that mentions both Psamtik I and Amasis II.
What To understand about Roman Graffiti
There are lots of Roman types of graffiti which have been discovered (although in archaeological terms, graffiti is really a mark, image or writing scratched or engraved into a surface). Predictably, many of these tend to be rude and derogatory like today. They include insults, phallic images, as well as other erotic pictures.
But not all Roman graffiti was to the tune of “Lucilla made money from her body” (another example in Pompeii). A lot of it had been more innocent anyway and only agreed to be simple pictures or games. Other types of Roman graffiti are indecipherable today.
The formal writing we've of the Roman language was not how they actually spoke (no more than people today actually talk within the language of a business contract.
“The Vendor hereby agrees to provide the next services for the Event in exchange for financial compensation outlined below…” – yeah, nobody talks like that.
The Roman Graffiti of Pompeii and Herculaneum
Much from the Roman graffiti at Pompeii and Herculaneum happen to be preserved thanks to being covered up by volcanic ash. As the cities and towns were destroyed abruptly, they can be dated to (or before) 79 AD.
Sometimes the graffiti is all about prostitutes, others about as being a food critic, others about becoming gay, still others the obligatory so-and-so was here, and anything else it's possible to consider.
The following come from Kashgar.com.au, the majority are too obscene to become repeated, here. See their website for that full list. Some of the graffiti inscriptions here include:
- House of Cuspius Pansa: The finances officer from the emperor Nero says this meals are poison (a 2000-year-old restaurant critic!)
- Bar: We two dear men, friends forever, were here. If you wish to become acquainted with our names, they are Gaius and Aulus.
- Gladiator barracks: Floronius, privileged soldier of the 7th legion, was here. The ladies did not know of his presence. Only six women came to know, not enough for this type of stallion
- Gladiator barracks: Antiochus hung out here with his girlfriend Cithera.
- House of Cosmus and Epidia: Aufidius was here. Goodbye
- House of Sextus Pompeius Axiochus and Julia Helena: Hectice, baby, Mercator says hello for you
- Vico degli Scienziati: Cruel Lalagus, so why do explore love me?
- Atrium of the home of Pinarius: If someone does not believe in Venus, they should gaze inside my girlfriend
- Vicolo del Panattiere, House from the Vibii Merchants: Atimetus got me pregnant
- House of Caprasius Primus: I don't want to sell my hubby, not for the gold on the planet