The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols
“If you love mysteries, you’ll love this book. Genevieve von Petzinger acts as guide and sleuth in this fascinating, accessible, and fast-paced exploration of Ice Age artists and the evocative cave paintings they left behind” (Virginia Morell, author of Animal Wise and Ancestral Passions).
In an adventure worthy of Indiana Jones, archeologist von Petzinger explores the little-known geometric cave art of our ancient ancestors—perhaps the first form of human written communication and a key to unlocking some of the mysteries of our ancient past. These “remarkable” (Jean Auel, author of the bestselling Earth’s Children series) findings “may represent one of the most extraordinary scientific insights of our time” (Wade Davis, author of The Serpent and the Rainbow).
Join von Petzinger as she travels throughout Europe and attempts to crack the code of these strange symbols, which persisted virtually unchanged for some 30,000 years. Clearly meaningful to their creators, these geometric signs are one of the first indicators of our human ancestors’ intelligence and capacity for symbolic meaning and language—glimpses across millennia of an ancient consciousness linked to our own.
Part travel journal, part popular science, and part personal narrative, this groundbreaking investigation explores what makes us human, how we evolved as a species, and how this cave art laid the foundation for so much of the technology that we enjoy today.
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THE FIRST SIGNS: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest SymbolsUser Review - Kirkus
A young scholar brings fresh eyes and fascinating theses to the study of ancient rock art.Over the last few years, Canadian archaeologist von Petzinger has been stirring up interest—and a little ... Read full review
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abstract Africa ancestors ancient animal appear archaeological archaeologists artifacts artists Aurignacian bison Blombos bone brain burials carved Castillo cave art ceiling chamber Chauvet Côa Côa Valley cognitive color created culture d’Errico dating decorated deer depictions Diepkloof Dolni Vestonice Dordogne engraved entoptic entrance evidence examples female figure figurines finger flutings floor France geometric signs graphic grave Gravettian groups Homo erectus Homo heidelbergensis Ice Age Ice Age art Ice Age Europe identified imagery images ivory landscape language layers Lewis-Williams limestone lines living located look Magdalenian mammoth markings meaning modern humans Neanderthals necklace negative hands non-figurative oldest paint paleoanthropologists Paleolithic art passageway patterns penniforms Petzinger Photo pieces pigment Qafzeh red dots region represent representations River rock art researchers rock art sites rock shelter rows shamanistic shamans shape shells sign types Spain species stone tools symbolic tectiforms teeth there’s thought Turkana Boy Upper Paleolithic writing system