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A wall has always been the best place to publish your work-Banksy Walls and Piece There is no denying graffiti has become a highly influential art movement in the late 20th century It is both rebellious in nature and illegal in practice however this does not necessarily disqualify it as a form of art In this paper I will be examining the history of graffiti and its development over the decades as well as elucidate the difference between vandalism and unsanctioned art Graffiti has been around for thousands of years Both graffiti and its singular form graffito are derived from the Italian word graffiato which when translated literally means scratched This is of course referring the method most commonly used to create the words and pictures uncovered today Cave drawings are quite possibly the oldest examples of graffiti to date Other early examples of graffiti have been discovered in Ancient Egypt the city of Pompeii the Mayan site of Tikal in Guatemala ancient Greece and the Roman Empire Even the names of various Vikings have been discovered scratched into runes in Ireland In an archaeological context graffiti is a deliberate mark made by the scratching or engraving on a large surface Today Historically graffiti has helped archeologists gain a better understanding of the lifestyles and languages of past cultures Graffiti was believed to be an accepted part of Roman culture More than 15000 examples of graffiti were discovered along the streets of Pompeii perfectly preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius way back in 79 AD Quite a lot of graffiti was discovered inside buildings such as brothels baths inns and taverns Magic spells declarations of love political slogans literary quotes nonsense and a wild assortment of obscenities have given historians a in depth look at the people of these long lost cultures Despite its early appearance in history modern graffiti is a relatively young art in the United States Today graffiti is defined as a
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