Following a long career in Primary Education, Janet Robinson gained a BA in History and an MA in Classical Civilisation from Birkbeck College, University of London. She continues to study cultural interconnections in the ancient world. Janet and her husband Paul are regular visitors to the African continent, the Aegean and the Near East. Janet is the author of Dubai Arabia.
Janet Robinson’s project Vernacular Voices is about ancient people living, travelling and most importantly communicating in writing in the Egyptian desert. Vernacular Voices I, published on Egyptological in May 2012 (http://egyptological.com/2012/05/31/vernacular-voices-8902), introduced a Romano-Egyptian called Phopis resting in a shady spot at Hans Winkler’s site RME21 (Robert Mond Expedition) in Wadi Qash. Vernacular Voices II discusses some hitherto unpublished graffiti signatures set in full sun at the celebrated ‘lost’ Hans Winkler rock-shelter RME18 which is also in Wadi Qash near the Roman garrisons of Krokodilo and Didymoi.
Edition - May, 2012
In the transition to Late Antiquity, an undercurrent of vernacular culture across the Roman Empire was beginning to reassert its voice, as people on the margins of society grew in confidence. Many people were illiterate, or at least were only able to write their own name. So how can we be sure when and how this happened? One way is to listen to the voices of local people and ordinary travellers, as they took their rest in the shade.