Welshman ‘delighted’ to discover obscene Roman graffiti at Hadrian’s Wall
A Welshman has said that he was “delighted” to discover obscene Roman graffiti on Hadrian’s wall last week.
Dylan Herbert, a retired Biochemist from Penarth made the discovery on 19th May, towards the end of his second week volunteering on the excavations.
The at least 1,600-year-old graffiti, accompanied by Latin writing calling a Roman soldier a “s—ter”, was discovered carved into stone at the Vindolanda fort near Hexham, Northumberland.
The site was under Roman occupation from roughly 85 AD to 370 AD. The image on the 40cm wide by 15cm tall stone is believed to have been carved out with a chisel.
Dylan Herbert said: “I’d been removing a lot of rubble all week and to be honest this stone had been getting in my way, I was glad when I was told I could take it out of the trench.
“It looked from the back like all the others, a very ordinary stone, but when I turned it over, I was startled to see some clear letters. Only after we removed the mud did I realise the full extent of what I’d uncovered, and I was absolutely delighted”.
The message reads, “SECVNDINVS CACOR,” which translates as: “Secundinus, the shitter.”
The Vindolanda Charitable Trust said that the latest discovery “gives us a fascinating window into the emotions of someone in the 3rd century, and this time they are not so polite”.
Dr Andrew Birley, director of excavations at Vindolanda, said it was not unusual to find a “phallus symbol” on Roman ruins as they were thought to be lucky.
He added that the team was hoping to find a retort by the offended Roman as they continue their excavations.
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