Insults, innuendo, imprecations. Elections, endearments, erotica. The graffiti of Herculaneum offer all this and more.
Herculaneum was one of the towns buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. Amid the destruction, some amazing things survived, including hundreds of graffiti, written on walls, columns, statue bases—anywhere a surface offered. This was social media, Roman style. These inscriptions contain a fabulous wealth of information about ancient life.
The Ancient Graffiti Project ( www.ancientgraffiti.org ) aims to collect all the graffiti from Herculaneum and Pompeii and publish them online. A lot of them are being published by us for the first time, and all are being digitised and given up-to-date information to make them fully usable. We’ve made great progress so far but need your help to do more.
One of the great features of our Project is the way that students are involved as active researchers and equal partners in gathering and processing the data. They receive training in all the latest archaeological technologies. They’re the next generation, and this is terrific experience for them. By helping us now, you also help the future of archaeology.
We want to go to Herculaneum again in the summer of 2018. An international team of archaeologists and students will spend two weeks gathering data. The campaign aims to cover their costs. The more money we raise, the more students and staff can go, and the more graffiti we’ll gather. It’s as simple as that!
The campaign is sponsored by the Friends of Herculaneum Society in the UK ( herculaneum.ox.ac.uk ) and the American Friends of Herculaneum in the USA (AFoH) ( herculaneumfriends.org ), both registered charities which exist to promote education and research at the World Heritage Site of Herculaneum. If you want to support Herculaneum on an ongoing basis, why not think about joining either the UK or US Friends of Herculaneum?
As a kick-off to the campaign the Friends of Herculaneum are putting up £5,000 of match-funding. For every £ or $ you give, they'll match it up to £5,000. Help us turn that £5,000 into £10,000!
GBP 13,000 / USD 17,000 (our minimum) will fund 8 undergraduate student team members to go to Herculaneum for 12 days (airfare variable from US / UK; triple room and board $750 per student)
GBP 20,000 / USD 26,000 (our target) will fund 8 undergraduate student team members to go to Herculaneum for 12 days, one graduate student team member, two faculty members, and a new Macbook Pro Laptop for project photos and data ($2900)
and if we really go crazy....
GBP 38,000 / USD 50,000 will pay for 10 undergraduate student team members to go to a second season of fieldwork in Herculaneum and Pompeii in the summer of 2019.
GBP 48,000 / USD 64,000 would pay for all of the above, plus:
- three additional Canon DSLR cameras to aid in documenting the graffiti ($2550); three additional iPad pros with iPad pencils to use in drawing the graffiti ($4134)
- airfare and board of three faculty members to travel to Herculaneum for a second season of fieldwork in 2019 ($9,300)
Any monies not needed to fund the student or faculty costs in the summer of 2018 will be used to fund student and faculty costs in 2019.Students and faculty will apply for scholarships from their home institutions and other funding bodies.
We have some great rewards for our sponsors for as little as £5/$5. Check them out!
Follow us to find out how we’re doing!
Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/HerculaneumGraffitiProject
Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/HercGraffProj
Check out the Ancient Graffiti Search Engine at ancientgraffiti.org
Follow the Friends of Herculaneum on Twitter at twitter.com/hercsoc
Follow the Friends of Herculaneum on Facebook at facebook.com/HerculaneumSociety
You don’t need to give money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone and everyone you can think of who might support us, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, blog, a chat over the fence. Ask your friends to pass it on. Start the snowball rolling! The more people who know, the likelier we are to succeed. (Hot tip: mention @hubbubnet in your tweet, and Hubbub will re-tweet it to their network!)
Of course, we hope you will make a donation, however small or large. It all helps. If you’re a UK taxpayer you can add 25% to the value of the donation by ticking the Gift Aid box on the donation page. US taxpayers: To get your tax deduction, please make your donation to the AGP NOT via Hubbub but via the AFoH PayPal account [PayPal account > "Pay or Send Money" > "Pay for Goods or Services" > enter email@example.com ; and remember to put your email address in the "notes" field so that AGP can send you a thank-you/receipt.] (herculaneumfriends.org ), not through the Hubbub website. We’ll add all US donations to the running total on a weekly basis, so everybody can see the good work your dollars are doing.