Rude graffiti by Roman soldiers near Hadrian’s Wall shows nothing ever changes

Most of us think of straight roads and serious, toga-clad politicians when we think of the Romans – but it turns out the Romans in Britain were a smutty bunch.

Archaeologists investigating a stone quarry near Hadrian's Wall found a depiction of male genitals carved into a wall – along with jokes about a commanding officer.

Phalluses (a depiction of an erect penis) denoted good luck in Roman culture, the experts believe.

The 'Written Rock of Gelt' was found in a quarry which supplied stone to the wall, and dates from 207AD, when the wall was undergoing a major renovation.

Researchers will now use laser scanners to take imprints of the graffiti so it's preserved, the researchers said.

Mike Collins, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Hadrian's Wall at Historic England said, 'These inscriptions at Gelt Forest are probably the most important on the Hadrian's Wall frontier.

'They provide insight into the organisation of the vast construction project that Hadrian's Wall was, as well as some very human and personal touches, such as the caricature of their commanding officer inscribed by one group of soldiers.

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Ruins of a watchtower along Hadrian's Wall (UNESCO World Heritage Site, 1987), near Housesteads, England, United Kingdom, Roman civilization, 2nd century.
CARLISLE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26: Florian Lejuene poses for photographs during a Portrait Session at Hadrians Wall on October 26, 2017, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***Florian Lejeune;
Hadrian's Wall (UNESCO World Heritage Site, 1987) between Steel Rigg and Housesteads, England, United Kingdom, Roman civilization, 2nd century.
Hardian's Wall, a World Heritage Site. Detailed wall and a stony path in the foreground. Hills and a partly cloudy sky in the background.
Hadrians Wall Northumberland
Rolling landscape with Hadrian's Wall, England, UK
Hadrian’s Wall snakes its way across the landscape in Northumberland, England, illuminated by a pastel winter sunset
A hiker walking alongside Hadrians Wall near Crag Lough in Northumberland, England, UK.
Stunning landscape image of Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland at sunset with fantastic late Spring light
Hadrian's Wall is a World Heritage Site in the beautiful Northumberland National Park. Popular with walkers along the Hadrian's Wall Path and Pennine Way
Milecastle 39 on Hadrian’s Wall
Vintage engraving of Hadrian was Roman emperor from 117 to 138.
Dawn breaks over Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, at the very north of England, and the ancient Roman fortified wall running between England and the wild lands to the north are bathed in warm golden light.
Roman Soldier guarding Hadrians Wall
Hadrian's Wall at Hotbank Crags snakes east through Northumberland National Park
Hadrian's Wall is a World Heritage Site in the beautiful Northumberland National Park. Popular with walkers along the Hadrian's Wall Path and Pennine Way
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Ian Haynes, Professor of Archaeology at Newcastle University said, 'These inscriptions are very vulnerable to further gradual decay. This is a great opportunity to record them as they are in 2019, using the best modern technology to safeguard the ability to study them into the future.'

- This article originally appeared on Yahoo UK

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