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Violent scribbles made by children 2,000 years ago raise eyebrows

Italian archaeologists recently discovered “violent” caricatures, around 2,000 years old, drawn by children in ancient Rome.

The Pompeii Archaeological Park announced the discovery on May 28. The drawings were found on a wall along Via dell’Abbondanza, which was the main street in Pompeii.

Pompeii is an ancient Roman city that was buried by volcanic ash during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and remained largely hidden for centuries before being officially rediscovered in the late 16th century.

Charcoal drawings depict gladiators and hunters, and historians say children were regularly exposed to violence in Roman amphitheaters. In a statement translated from Italian to English, archaeologists linked the violence children witnessed in ancient times to the horrific images children see today in popular media.

“Exposure to extreme forms of violence, even among young children (estimated between 5 and 7 years old), does not seem to be a problem only today, between video games and social networks,” the organization said.

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The Pompeii Archaeological Park announced the discovery of these unusual ancient scribbles on May 28. (@pompeiiparcoarcheologico via Facebook)

“The difference (is) that in Antiquity, the bloodshed in the arena was real and few saw it as a ‘problem’ with all the possible repercussions on the psycho-mental development of the children of Pompeii.”

In a video released by the Pompeii Archaeological Park on May 29, archaeologist Gabriel Zuchtriegel explains in Italian that the drawings were found in a courtyard, where children were probably playing.

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The drawings depict hunters and gladiators, according to archaeologists. (@pompeiiparcoarcheologico via Facebook)

“We can imagine the children who played here for entire afternoons and had the opportunity to make these drawings, perhaps unnoticed by adults, on different parts of the walls where there was also a construction site where work was in progress. run in this house,” he explained.

Archaeologists collaborated with the Federico II University of Naples to determine the meaning of the images. Experts concluded that the images reflected what children saw in real life rather than in art or in their imaginations.

Psychologists have determined that the children who drew these pictures were exposed to real violence. (@pompeiiparcoarcheologico via Facebook)

“We came to the conclusion that these drawings of gladiators and animal hunters were made after a direct view of the facts, and not from a pictorial model,” Zuchtriegel said in a video that was later translated into English. “And they are very young children of 6 or 7 years old, as shown by the human figures drawn like cephalopods, that is to say the legs and arms which come directly from the head. Even today, the little children draw like this.

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“It is understood that here in Pompeii, even very young children were exposed to an extreme form of violence between men, between men and animals in the arena, in the amphitheater of the ancient city,” added the expert.

The drawings highlight childhood in ancient Rome. (@pompeiiparcoarcheologico via Facebook)

Thanks to this discovery, the Pompeii Archaeological Park said the drawings “help to better understand childhood in Roman times.”

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Fox News Digital has contacted Pompeii Archaeological Park for comment.

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