Web edition: March 11, 2010
Print edition: March 27, 2010; Vol.177 #7 (p. 31)
Regarding “Graffiti on the walls in Pompeii” (SN: 01/30/10, p. 14), I remember reading some years ago about graffiti being discovered in Pompeii. There was even a symbol that researchers interpreted as a sort of “Kilroy was here.” Is this an ongoing study? New sites? I wonder if there were other markings, such as height marks recording children’s growth? The article says “written” — were all of the marks scratched into the rock?
Bob Wilson, Oakridge, Ore.
Graffiti were first observed at Pompeii in the late 19th century. More than 11,000 instances of graffiti have been found in the ancient city, about two-thirds of which has been excavated. Most consist of written messages scratched or incised on walls, with some drawings as well. These graffiti have attracted little scientific interest until recently. Graffiti research will continue, but rapid deterioration of previously excavated parts of Pompeii probably means that new excavations won’t occur anytime soon. — Bruce Bower
Missing antidepressant data
In the article “Depression drug shifts personality” (SN: 01/02/10, p. 14), the anecdotal correlation between “personality change” and depression relapse rate is encouraging, but where are the data, either for the SSRI phase or for the year following that?
Sam Pilato, Arlington, Mass.
There wasn’t space to show all the study’s results in print. Go online (http://bit.ly/bE4a4d) for more detail and a reference to the original paper. — Bruce Bower
In the interesting article “Starting anew” (SN: 02/13/10, p. 22), Susan Gaidos states that the annelid family includes naidids, roundworms, leeches and earthworms. My knowledge of invertebrate zoology is a little rusty, but I believe that roundworms are in the nematode phylum.
Pete Clason, Northville, Mich.