Archaeologists Discover Ancient Skeleton Meme-Mural Saying "Be Cheerful and Live Your Life"
The Romans were saying YOLO way before Drake.
Turns out, Drake wasn’t the first philosopher to coin a YOLO kind of attitude. While we love the cover art for View from the 6, we wouldn’t be mad if Drizzy replaced it with the spooky-chill skeleton mural discovered in Southern Turkey earlier this week. Archaeologists from Turkey’s Hatay Archeological Museum unearthed a three-panel Roman mural featuring a reclining skeleton, posted up with a bottle of wine and bearing the inscription “be cheerful and live your life.”
Demet Kara, one of the archaeologists working on the dig for the Hatay Museum, said the mosaic was phenomenally intact and comprehensive.
“[This is] a unique mosaic in Turkey. There is a similar mosaic in Italy but this one is much more comprehensive. It is important for the fact that it dates back to the 3rd century B.C.,” Kara told Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News.
Sure, BCALYL doesn’t roll of the tongue as well as YOLO, or “you only live once,” but man, this skeleton is seriously chilled out. The Romans were famous for their hedonism and laid-back attitude toward the pleasures of life, so this mural isn’t really a surprise, but damn, is it great. It’s only a matter of time before this thing is on a t-shirt and or coffee mug.
We know skeletons have provided a window into methods of ancient warfare, but the skeleton-themed mosaic gives us a window into early methods of saying “fuck it,” and kicking back. Turns out they’re pretty much the same as ours — wine, carbs, and a healthy dash of nihilism go a long way.
Kara told Hurriyet that each of the full mosaic’s three panels represent a different aspect of Roman life. The first shows a black figure throwing fire, symbolizing bathing, scouring, or coming clean. In the middle panel, Kara said a young man running toward a sundial that shows a time between nine and 10 p.m. (the time between bathing and dinner) symbolizes the importance of the evening meal. The final scene, of course, is the skeleton, telling everyone to chill the fuck out, because we all die eventually.
Here’s the full mural being excavated.
While skeletons have a wide range of cultural significance in different civilizations, it appears at least the Romans would have appreciated all of our Mr. Skeltal memes.