2,000 Year-Old ‘Comics’ Found in Jordan

The Smithsonian.com is reporting on a group archeologists’ discovery of ancient “comics” featuring characters drawn on cave walls and speaking with “speech bubbles.”

From the piece:

Perhaps the most striking feature for modern viewers are the little captions that appear next to some of the figures. “These 60 or so texts painted in black, some of which we have already deciphered, have the distinctive feature of being written in the local language of Aramaic, while using Greek letters,” researcher Jean-Baptiste Yon says in the release. “This combination of the two primary idioms of the ancient Near East is extremely rare, and will help to better identify the structure and evolution of Aramaic. 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.”