From pre-historic rock art to modern day graffiti tags, humans have been leaving their marks on the world around them for tens of thousands of years.

Archaeologist Emma Bryning discusses graffiti through the ages and explains how to make your own cave drawing, graffiti tag and stencil art.

What you will need:

For negative hand prints:

  • Paper
  • Paint (or felt-tip pens/colouring pencils/crayons)
  • Spray bottle (or sponge or paint brush) if using paint

For graffiti scratching:

  • Clay (or salt dough or playdough)
  • Pencil
  • Plastic knife / butter knife

For graffiti tag with 'bubble letters'

  • Paper
  • Colouring pens/pencils/crayons

For stencil graffiti art:

  • Card (or paper)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Paint and brush/spray/sponge (or colouring pens/pencils)

Health and Safety

  • Children should be supervised when using scissors and knives
  • Knives used should not be sharp
  • Paints/pens used should be non-toxic and washable
  • Please note that some of these activities can get messy!

About the researcher

Emma Bryning is a postgraduate researcher with the University of York’s Department of Archaeology under the supervision of Prof John Schofield (Archaeology) and Dr Megan Leyland (English Heritage).