The ranger showed a picture of rock art, or “ancestral inscriptions” as archaeologists often refer to the practice. Isn’t it just modern rock art?” she asked. Why are 800-year-old handprints sacrosanct, but not if hacked onto rock walls on public land today? Stacking up rocks, painting rocks, scratching poetry into the walls — it’s all part of the “look at me!” culture. Modern graffiti is often deposited over centuries-old rock art, and in some parts of the country, rock art has been used for target practice.