Ancient Greek “comics” found in Jordan (photos-video)

The tomb in question was first uncovered in 2016 in the modern-day village of Beit Ras, northern Jordan

Inside an ancient Roman tomb unearthed recently in Jordan, archaeologists have found a unique comics like mural showcasing life as it might have been in the city of Capitolias, several thousand years ago. Depicting a multitude of colorful figures, including humans, gods and animals, this one-of-a-kind mural also features “speech bubbles”, much like you would find in modern comics.

According to researchers, the figures in the painting appear in different poses, primarily related to routine activities like constructing a defensive wall to protect the city from potential invaders as well as harvesting crops. Alongside these illustrations are several dozen inscriptions that – as per the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) – describe the actions in Aramaic (written in Greek alphabet). Shedding light on the amazing discovery, Jean-Baptiste Yon of the History and Sources of Ancient Worlds Laboratory (HiSoMA) in France said:

The inscriptions are actually similar to speech bubbles in comic books, because they describe the activities of the characters, who offer explanations of what they are doing (‘I am cutting (stone),’ ‘Alas for me! I am dead!’), which is also extraordinary.


The tomb in question was first uncovered in 2016 in the modern-day village of Beit Ras, northern Jordan. Interestingly enough, the discovery in itself was made quite fortuitously, with the unearthing being achieved during works to extend a local sewerage network. Archaeological survey has revealed that the site dates back the late Roman or early Eastern Roman (Byzantine) period, which corresponds to late antiquity.

In terms of structure, the exceptionally well-preserved tomb complex – measuring around 560-square-feet (approx. 52-square-meters) – comprises two separate chambers. The larger one among them consists of a basalt sarcophagus that is decorated with the carvings of lion heads. As for the smaller one, the chamber contained two additional graves, but without any accompanying artifact.


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