Suspirium Puellarum Celadus Thraex

I never studied Latin, but the title supposedly translates as “Celadus the Thracier makes the girls moan!” and was discovered, along with much other well preserved ancient graffiti, in Pompeii.

From the archaeology blog A Visible City, we learn that the archaeology of graffiti has come a long way from copying boastful scribblings on ancient ruins. A recent NY Times article discusses the web site Graffiti Archaeology, which won a Webby award from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. The site allows you to explore how a single surface changes over time as old graffiti is covered over by the new.

In effect, Mr. Curtis has made antigraffiti. He uncovers the layers that each successive graffiti artist has covered up..

The Times article criticizes the site for failing to include some of the photographic context necessary for a more academic endeavor. But even though it won the Webby in the “art” category, I difer to Alexandra’s expertise when she says that “it is fair to call it archaeology.”

There is also a Graffiti Archaeology Flickr pool.

Finally, via Boing Boing, I discovered some early 18th century English graffiti, including this one:

No Hero looks so fierce in Fight,
As does the Man who strains to sh-te.

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