Arts, Culture & Media

How Ancient Graffiti Might Be More Familiar Than You Realize

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French archaeologist Audran Labrousse, director of the French mission of Sakara, looks on a newly discovered ancient Pharaonic slab with Hirogliphic graffiti on April 11, 2013. A team of French archaeologists has discovered a pyramid at Sakkara near Cair

Remember the story about that Chinese teen who had scrawled some graffiti on an ancient relic in Egypt?

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While Chinese officials and netizens gave the kid a really hard time, turns out the boy might have simply been channeling ancient Egyptian habits.

Remember that scene from Monty Python's "Life of Brian"? Brian is marking up a wall, and is caught by a Roman soldier who corrects his grammar. Well, that bit may contain more truth than you know.

In ancient times, graffiti didn't connote vandalism as it does today.

Turns out graffiti was something done by the elite and well educated as a way, you might say, to show off good spelling.

Anchor Marco Werman speaks with Oxford University Egyptologist Chloé Ragazzoli about contemporary attitudes to ancient graffiti.

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    Credit:

    Reuters

    French archaeologist Audran Labrousse, Director of the French mission of Sakara, looks on a newly discovered ancient Pharaonic slab with Hirogliphic graffiti April 11. A team of French archaeologists has discovered a pyramid at Sakkara near Cairo belonging to an ancient Egyptian queen from the Sixth Pharaonic Dynasty.

    AN/CLH/ - RTR31D1

  • Jesus_graffito.jpg

    Second century graffito depicting a man worshiping a crucified donkey. The inscription translates as "Alexamenos respects God". It may be mocking a Christian soldier. (Photo: Palatine Museum, Rome/Wikipedia)

  • crusader-e1370041721219.jpg

    Crusader Graffiti in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem (Victorgrigas/Wikimedia Commons)

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