Ancient vandalism? 

“Graffiti often has a distinctive local identity. In the coastal church at Salthouse in Norfolk, for example, bored congregations of sixteenth-century seafarers scratched pictures of ships on the pews. In New York, where graffiti artists are feted by smart galleries, the hip-hop movement specializes in deliberately illegible “wildstyle” spray paint. In the Arab world, political slogans are still rendered in timeless calligraphy. Pompeii, a city dedicated to Venus, contains a disproportionate amount of erotic graffiti and erotic wall-painting, though it is still unclear how much that really reflects the economic activities of this particular town. ”

Read the rest from The Times Literary Supplement