Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Holy Greco-Aramaic comics, Batman!

ARAMAIC WATCH PLUS DECORATIVE ART: Slam! Bam! Pow! Archaeologists Find Ancient 'Comics' Decorating Roman Tomb in Jordan. Rudimentary speech bubbles illustrate scenes from the Hellenistic frontier town Capitolias 2,000 years ago – in an incongruous combination of Greek and Aramaic (Ariel David, Haaretz).
Archaeologists in Jordan have uncovered a Roman-era tomb decorated with spectacular frescoes that include rudimentary "comics" – which were written in Aramaic using Greek letters. The drawings provide extraordinary testimony to the diverse and cosmopolitan environment in the Hellenistic border towns of the Roman empire.

This is a blockbuster discovery. I noted an announcement of it back in April, but information was sparse. It's good that we are finally hearing some details. The site in northern Jordan is called Beit Ras. The many murals include images of people, gods, and animals. And the inscriptions give us some very rare vocalized Aramaic from the Roman era.

This Haaretz article is not in the premium section, so you can read it without registration. Do read it. It's an important story. The story is also covered in An Iconographic Treasure Unearthed in Jordan by Philippe Testard-Vaillant in CNRS News. It includes another photo as well.

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