I've spent the last 15 years actively trying to forget high school, and it's actually been going pretty well. Whenever I flashback to the era, I see a haze of faces and events that thankfully become hazier and more unrecognizable every year. Consequently, I never take the time to look back at my yearbooks. In fact, I anticipated that this would be disposition as an adult and declined to purchase a single yearbook during my tenure in high school. So if civilization collapses, future archeologists won't be able to excavate my yearbooks as a point of research like the subjects of this article.
A recently translated stone tablet from the National Museums of Scotland is being recognized as a primitive version of a yearbook. The tablet includes the signatures of several Greek teens that recently left military training. The "yearbook" is helping historians gain a deeper context of the changes Greece underwent after being conquered by Rome.
"This discovery represents an important new source of information about Athenian society in the mid-first century C.E.," writes the National Museums Scotland's principal curator of the ancient Mediterranean, Margaret Maitland, in a blog post. "This was a crucial period for Athens as it adapted to its place under the Roman Empire, which had conquered the Greek peninsula in 146 B.C.E." The stele's inscription sheds light on how ancient Greeks going through this process under Roman rule may have viewed themselves, says Peter Liddel, a historian at the University of Manchester, tells the Greek City Times.