Artwork by Banksy
People usually consider graffiti a criminal act that vandals commit by spraying paint on walls.
It is common in big cities like New York and Los Angeles. It is often not regarded as an art but rather as an act committed by delinquents or gang members who want to mark their territory within their gang.
Modern graffiti originated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the early 1960s in the United States. Many people often as such, but what if I told you there is a history behind it dating back to past civilizations? However, we plan to delve even further into its origins.
Graffiti from the past can give us an insight into the events happening in ancient countries with the graffiti, and can also activate our imaginations of what life was like for the average person in these old empires.
Graffiti in Ancient Egypt
Graffiti started in Egypt during the Ptolemaic rule. They ruled Egypt for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC. They were the final imperial dynasty of Egypt. From 180-47 BC, the Temple of Kom Ombo was built. It held many artifacts, art, and godly figures that the Egyptians respected. There was even graffiti.
That is a drawing made by someone on a random temple stone. This art isn’t as sophisticated nor culturally significant to the people living in Egypt then.
The Kom Ombo temple seemed to be a place where people could express their love for gods and ideas with art. That probably wasn’t the only instance of Egyptian graffiti.
Temple of Kom Ombo
Graffiti in Medieval Israel
The next instance of graffiti is a remnant of the Crusader wars. This art can be found in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It contains holy sites in Christianity.
It contained the place where Jesus was crucified. This place also contained past references to the Crusader wars, which were serious religious wars.
Look at this graffiti in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; it was made by the Crusaders, who placed many crosses and symbols. That was revolutionary because graffiti would grow to become symbols that make no sense.
Graffiti in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre