21 Jan 2010
Are these the oldest ghostsigns in the world? Will at Naked came back from a trip to Italy where he visited the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum which were covered in volcanic ash for around 1,700 years following the eruption of mount Vesuvius in 79AD. While he was there he took these three fascinating pictures showing letters and pictures painted on the walls. This makes them the best part of 2,000 years old, assuming they were painted not long before the eruption.
The first picture is said to feature political slogans, showing that this type of advertising is nothing new. However, it is the second two that seem more related to our ‘contemporary’ ghostsigns. These were showcasing some of the treats that could be found in the local brothels, perhaps the best fit in the forthcoming archive would be the ‘Hotels & Restaurants’ category.
I had heard of these wall paintings before and it is great to have now seen them as photographs. Thank you Will for sharing them, I will have to make the pilgrimage myself now…
Support My Work
If you value my work on ghost signs then please support it with a one-off or monthly contribution of £3 or more. This helps to cover my direct costs and keep everything accessible to all. If you want to fund a specific project or piece of research then get in touch to discuss this with me.