Monday, July 23, 2012

Graffiti Discovered at a Stone Circle in Britain

Northumberland UK: Graffiti has been discovered on an unearthed surface of a pillar that forms part of an ancient stone circle, after the large megalith was knocked over by a thunderstorm.
Ruins of prehistoric Bronze Age and older stone monuments are found throughout the UK. Metal age archaeologists speculate that various monuments were constructed sometime between 3000 BC and 2000 BC, but argue whether the Druids or the Celts built them. No indigenous written records exist as to the purpose of the structures, e.g. pagan rituals.

Roman era archeologists speculate that when the Romans arrived in Britain in 43 AD some of the existing stone structures may have been used as amphitheaters. However, the graffiti seems to point to this specific structure being adapted by the Roman Army to be one of the world's oldest public lavatories. Graffiti found at excavations of Roman ruins in Pompeii Italy bears a striking resemblance to the Northumberland graffiti.

The translated graffiti is "Looking for a Good Time, see Druidella (Latin); Hadrian is a Hard Ass (Latin); and ET Go Home Now (Ancient Language)." Roman era archeologists speculate that the first comment was made by a bored Roman soldier being funny, the second comment being made by an overworked Roman soldier during the construction of Hadrian's Wall beginning in 122 AD and the third comment being completely insane. Carbon dating of the graffiti places the first two comments in the first or second century AD and the third comment around 2900 BC.
Roman era archeologists speculate that the Roman's would have gathered smaller stones or made clay bricks to enclose the open spaces between the megaliths of their Ceramic Defacatorium, leaving an open roof to collect rainwater in cisterns for washing and other sanitation functions.

During the construction of Hadrian's Wall the lavatory stones would have been removed and used as part of the barricade that kept the Picts (Scottish ancestors) outside of Roman Britannia. A trip to a nearby section of the wall quickly identified stones with Latin graffiti that matched that found on the megalith, but no Ancient Language graffiti.