Lapis Niger, c.570-550 B.C., Stone
Antiquarium Forense, Rome, Italy
It may remind you of the boundary markers we saw yesterday from Athens in Greece – but this isn't a boundary stone. In fact the inscription is so damaged that it's impossible to tell with certainty exactly what it says – although a couple of discernible words give us some pretty important clues.
The first noticeable thing about the Latin inscribed here is that the letters look a lot closer to those of the Greek alphabet: it's the only Latin inscription, for example, where the consonant R is still written with Ρ, as in Greek. It's also written in a manner known as boustrophedon, where the writing alternates left to right and right to left, a standard element of Greek inscriptions. You can see a reconstruction below: