Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols

Author: Genevieve von Petzinger

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476785503

Category: Art

Page: 328

View: 1615

The First Signs is the first-ever exploration of the little-known geometric images that accompany most cave art around the world--the first indications of symbolic meaning, intelligence, and language. Join renowned archaeologist Genevieve von Petzinger on an Indiana Jones-worthy adventure from the open-air rock art sites of northern Portugal to the dark depths of a remote cave in Spain that can only be reached by sliding face-first through the mud. Von Petzinger looks past the beautiful horses, powerful bison, graceful ibex, and faceless humans in the ancient paintings. Instead, she's obsessed with the abstract geometric images that accompany them, the terse symbols that appear more often than any other kinds of figures--signs that have never really been studied or explained until now. Part travel journal, part popular science, part personal narrative, von Petzinger's groundbreaking book starts to crack the code on the first form of graphic communication. It's in her blood, as this talented scientist's grandmother served as a code-breaker at Bletchley. Discernible patterns emerge that point to abstract thought and expression, and for the first time, we can begin to understand the changes that might have been happening inside the minds of our Ice Age ancestors--offering a glimpse of when they became us.
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Unlocking the Mysteries of the World’s Oldest Symbols

Author: Genevieve von Petzinger

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 147678549X

Category: Art

Page: 320

View: 6404

"Archaeologist Genevieve von Petzinger looks past the horses, bison, ibex, and faceless humans in the ancient paintings and instead focuses on the abstract geometric images that accompany them. She offers her research on the terse symbols that appear more often than any other kinds of figures--signs that have never really been studied or explained until now"--
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Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols

Author: Genevieve von Petzinger

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476785511

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 816

“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 series, and how this cave art laid the foundation for so much of the technology that we enjoy today.
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Author: Paul Bahn,Michel Lorblanchet

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

ISBN: 0500773920

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 8983

Two of the greatest living authorities on Ice Age art delve hundreds of thousands of years into the human past to discover the earliest works of art ever made, drawing on decades of new research Where is the world’s very first art located? When, and why, did people begin experimenting with different materials, forms, and colors? Prehistorians have long been asking these questions, but only recently have they been able to piece together the first chapter in the story of art. Overturning the traditional Eurocentric vision of our artistic origins, Paul Bahn and Michel Lorblanchet seek out the earliest art across the whole world. There are clues that even three million years ago distant human ancestors were drawn to natural curiosities that appeared representational, such as the face-like “Makapansgat cobble" from South Africa, not carved but naturally weathered to resemble a human face. In the last hundred thousand years people all over the world began to create art: the oldest known paint palettes in South Africa’s Blombos Cave, the famous Venus figures across Europe all the way to Siberia, and magnificent murals on cave walls in every continent except Antarctica. This book is the first to assess the discovery, history, and significance of these varied forms of art: the artistic impulse developed in the human mind wherever it traveled.
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Author: Paul G. Bahn,Paul G.. Bahn,Jean Vertut

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520213067

Category: Art

Page: 240

View: 7512

Some of the oldest art in the world is the subject of this riveting and beautiful book. Paul Bahn and Jean Vertut explore carved objects and wall art discoveries from the Ice Age, covering the period from 300,000 B.P. to 10,000 B.P., and their collaboration marks a signal event for archaeologists and lay readers alike. Utilizing the most modern analytical techniques in archaeology, Bahn presents new accounts of Russian caves only recently opened to foreign specialists; the latest discoveries from China and Brazil; European cave finds at Cosquer, Chauvet, and Covaciella; and the recently discovered sites in Australia. He also studies sites in Africa, India, and the Far East. Included are the only photographic images of many caves that are now closed to protect their fragile environments. A separate chapter in the book examines art fakes and forgeries and relates how such deceptions have been exposed. The beliefs and preoccupations of Paleolithic peoples resonate throughout this book: the importance of the hunt and the magic and shamanism surrounding it, the recording of the seasons, the rituals of sex and fertility, the cosmology and associated myths. Yet enigmas and mysteries emerge as well, particularly as new analytical techniques raise new questions and cast doubt on our earlier suppositions. A comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of all that has been discovered about Ice Age art, Bahn and Vertut's book offers a visually rich link with the past.
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The Search for Our Human Origins

Author: Ian Tattersall

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 023010875X

Category: Science

Page: 266

View: 9973

An award-winning Museum of Natural History curator and author of Becoming Human traces the evolution of homo sapiens to demonstrate how they prevailed among other early humans because of their unique cognitive ability, in an account that also explains how their superior mental abilities were acquired. 40,000 first printing.
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Author: David Lewis-Williams

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

ISBN: 0500770433

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 5962

A controversial exploration of the origin of religion in the neurology of the human brain. In this book the noted cognitive archaeologist David Lewis-Williams confronts a question that troubles many people in the world today: Is there a supernatural realm that intervenes in the material world of daily life and leads to the evolution of religions? Professor Lewis-Williams first describes how science developed within the cocoon of religion and then shows how the natural functioning of the human brain creates experiences that can lead to belief in a supernatural realm, beings, and interventions. Once people have these experiences, they formulate beliefs about them, and thus creeds are born. Forty thousand years ago, people were leaving traces in the archaeological record of activities that we can label religious, and Lewis-Williams discusses in detail the evidence preserved in the Volp Caves in France. He also shows that mental imagery produced by the functioning of the human brain can be detected in widely separated religious communities such as Hildegard of Bingen’s in medieval Europe or the San hunters of southern Africa.
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Paleolithic images at Cosquer

Author: Jean Clottes,Jean Courtin

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

ISBN: N.A

Category: Art

Page: 200

View: 503

In 1991, a professional diver named Henri Cosquer discovered a wealth of prehistoric art in a cave near Marseilles, France. The opening to the cave, once several miles inland from the Mediterranean, became submerged when the sea began to rise at the end of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago. Since that time, no human had entered this deep cavern or seen the paintings and engravings of animals, human hands, and signs that cover the walls and ceilings until Cosquer swam cautiously up the flooded entrance passage. News of Cosquer's extraordinary find flashed around the world. The French Ministry of Culture immediately sent two eminent archaeologists, Jean Clottes and Jean Courtin, to study the cave. Assisted by teams of specialists, they carried out two diving missions to the site, in 1991 and 1992. This book describes what they found and provides the first complete photographic documentation of this incredible site, one of the major decorated caves of Europe. Because charcoal and charcoal pigment were found in such abundance at the site, and because the archaeological context was undisturbed, Cosquer is now one of the most thoroughly and firmly dated Paleolithic caves in the world. Thanks to a series of twelve radiocarbon dates, we know that the images at Cosquer were made during two different eras. The stenciled hands are extremely ancient, created about 27,000 years ago. The land animals - cold-loving plains horses, ibex, chamois, aurochs, and the huge ice-age deer called megaloceros - are some 18,500 years old. There are also marine animals, very unusual subjects in Paleolithic art: they include seals, great auks (penguin-like birds that are now extinct), and mysterious imagesthat may represent fish and jellyfish. Throughout this fascinating book, which includes notes, a full bibliography, and a glossary of 125 key terms, the Cosquer cave is discussed in relation to other prehistoric decorated caves in Europe. The authors judiciously speculate on the meaning of the ancient images and what they can tell us not only about the lost world of our remote ancestors but about the origins of mythmaking, symboling, and artmaking - in other words, of being truly human.
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The Key to the Mystery of the Paleolithic Cave Paintings

Author: Bertrand David,Jean-Jacques Lefrère

Publisher: Skyhorse

ISBN: 1628723939

Category: Art

Page: 176

View: 734

A mystery spanning thousands of years—and a compelling study of early mankind and the first sparks of human artistic creativity. Thirty thousand years ago, our prehistoric ancestors painted perfect images of animals on walls of tortuous caves, most often without any light. How was this possible? What meaning and messages did the cavemen want these paintings to convey? In addition, how did these perfect drawings come about at a time when primitive man's sole purpose was surviving? And why, some ten thousand years later, did startlingly similar animal paintings appear once again, on dark cave walls? Scholars and archaeologists have for centuries pored over these works of art, speculating and hoping to come away with the key to the mystery. No one has ever come close to elucidating the paintings’ origin and meaning—until now. Here, the stunning truth is revealed by artist Bertrand David and Professor Jean-Jacques Lefrère, giving us a new understanding of an art lost in time, explaining what had once been unexplainable, and solving the oldest enigma in humanity.
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The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins

Author: Colin Renfrew

Publisher: CUP Archive

ISBN: 9780521386753

Category: Social Science

Page: 346

View: 3227

Analyzes the relationships between language groups, compares language development with archaeological information, and speculates on population movements
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Innovation in Prehistoric Material and Spiritual Culture

Author: Colin Renfrew,Iain Morley

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521876540

Category: Social Science

Page: 282

View: 4413

In this volume, fifteen internationally renowned scholars contribute essays that explore the relationship between symbolism, spirituality, and humanity in the prehistoric societies of Europe and traditional societies elsewhere.
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Cave Paintings and the Dawn of Human Creativity

Author: Jean Clottes

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022618806X

Category: Art

Page: 192

View: 9476

Was it a trick of the light that drew our Stone Age ancestors into caves to paint in charcoal and red hematite, to watch the heads of lions, likenesses of bison, horses, and aurochs in the reliefs of the walls, as they flickered by firelight? Or was it something deeper—a creative impulse, a spiritual dawn, a shamanistic conception of the world efflorescing in the dark, dank spaces beneath the surface of the earth where the spirits were literally at hand? In this book, Jean Clottes, one of the most renowned figures in the study of cave paintings, pursues an answer to this “why” of Paleolithic art. While other books focus on particular sites and surveys, Clottes’s work is a contemplative journey across the world, a personal reflection on how we have viewed these paintings in the past, what we learn from looking at them across geographies, and what these paintings may have meant—what function they may have served—for their artists. Steeped in Clottes’s shamanistic theories of cave painting, What Is Paleolithic Art? travels from well-known Ice Age sites like Chauvet, Altamira, and Lascaux to visits with contemporary aboriginal artists, evoking a continuum between the cave paintings of our prehistoric past and the living rock art of today. Clottes’s work lifts us from the darkness of our Paleolithic origins to reveal, by firelight, how we think, why we create, why we believe, and who we are.
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Unlocking Divine Messages Hidden in the Bible

Author: Timothy P. Smith

Publisher: WaterBrook

ISBN: 1601429169

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 1487

The true story that inspired the forthcoming History Channel series “God Code." Imagine you are a young, ambitious, successful appraiser of artifacts and antiquities—your services in demand by many of the most powerful individuals and branches of government in Washington, D. C. Your future could not seem brighter—except for a troubling dream... with the same mysterious message... on the same exact date... three years in a row. Timothy P. Smith, heir to a renowned family business responsible for construction or renovation of some of America’s most cherished landmarks, struggled to understand the significance of his recurring dream... until he had another dream--one that identified a specific location where it seemed he might find answers to his questions. So Timothy drove to a remote spot in British Columbia. There the adventure--which later led to a startling discovery in the oldest Hebrew text of the Bible--began. It took the convergence of the sacred text, one man’s life, and modern computer technology to reveal messages that may explain dramatic world events, as well as influence every person alive today. Welcome to The Chamberlain Key. What You Will Discover in The Chamberlain Key: • An encrypted code in Genesis, in the oldest known Hebrew text of the Old Testament, centuries before predicted the birth and resurrection of Jesus. • Scientific evidence that this encrypted code was authored by the divine hand of God. • Signs that there are more encrypted codes in this same Hebrew text that will lead to additional messages from God to humanity • Hidden clues that may lead to the location of long-missing sacred artifacts, such as the Ark of the Covenant • Insights on why Timothy P. Smith was chosen to uncover this encrypted code. • A dire warning that God wants us to hear—and heed. “However one wishes to interpret the meaning and significance of the text, they may rest assured that the text on which Timothy Smith bases his interpretation has almost certainly been there for a very long time, since before the birth of Christ.” —Eugene Ulrich, Ph.D., Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame
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Aborigines, the Dreamtime, and the Dawn of the Human Race

Author: Steven Strong,Evan Strong

Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing

ISBN: 1612833934

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 240

View: 2704

In their startling new book, Steven and Evan Strong challenge the “out-of-Africa” theory. Based on fresh examination of both the DNA and archeological evidence, they conclude that modern humans originated from Australia, not Africa. The original Australians (referred to by some as Aborigines ), like so many indigenous peoples, are portrayed as “backward” and “primitive.” Yet, as the Strongs demonstrate, original Australians had a rich culture, which may have sown the first seeds of spirituality in the world. They had the technology to make international seafaring voyages and have left traces in the Americas and possibly Japan, Southern India, Egypt, and elsewhere. They practiced brain surgery, invented the first hand tools, and had knowledge of penicillin. This book brings together 30 years of intensive research in consultation with elders in the original Australian community. Among their conclusions are the following: There is evidence that humans existed in Australia 40,000 years before they existed in Australia. There were migrations of original Australians in large boats throughout the Indian/Pacific rim. Three distinct kinds of Homo sapiens are found in Australia. There is evidence from the Americas that debunks the out-of-Africa theory. The spiritual influence of the Aborigines is reflected in the religions of the world.
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Author: Robin Dunbar,Clive Gamble,John Gowlett

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

ISBN: 0500772142

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 8158

A closer look at genealogy, incorporating how biological, anthropological, and technical factors can influence human lives We are at a pivotal moment in understanding our remote ancestry and its implications for how we live today. The barriers to what we can know about our distant relatives have been falling as a result of scientific advance, such as decoding the genomes of humans and Neanderthals, and bringing together different perspectives to answer common questions. These collaborations have brought new knowledge and suggested fresh concepts to examine. The results have shaken the old certainties. The results are profound; not just for the study of the past but for appreciating why we conduct our social lives in ways, and at scales, that are familiar to all of us. But such basic familiarity raises a dilemma. When surrounded by the myriad technical and cultural innovations that support our global, urbanized lifestyles we can lose sight of the small social worlds we actually inhabit and that can be traced deep into our ancestry. So why do we need art, religion, music, kinship, myths, and all the other facets of our over-active imaginations if the reality of our effective social worlds is set by a limit of some one hundred and fifty partners (Dunbar’s number) made of family, friends, and useful acquaintances? How could such a social community lead to a city the size of London or a country as large as China? Do we really carry our hominin past into our human present? It is these small worlds, and the link they allow to the study of the past that forms the central point in this book.
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Author: David Lewis-Williams,David Pearce

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

ISBN: 050077045X

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 3022

An exploration of how brain structure and cultural content interacted in the Neolithic period 10,000 years ago to produce unique life patterns and belief systems. What do the headless figures found in the famous paintings at Catalhoyuk in Turkey have in common with the monumental tombs at Newgrange and Knowth in Ireland? How can the concepts of "birth," "death," and "wild" cast light on the archaeological enigma of the domestication of cattle? What generated the revolutionary social change that ended the Upper Palaeolithic? David Lewis-Williams's previous book, The Mind in the Cave, dealt with the remarkable Upper Palaeolithic paintings, carvings, and engravings of western Europe. Here Dr. Lewis-Williams and David Pearce examine the intricate web of belief, myth, and society in the succeeding Neolithic period, arguably the most significant turning point in all human history, when agriculture became a way of life and the fractious society that we know today was born. The authors focus on two contrasting times and places: the beginnings in the Near East, with its mud-brick and stone houses each piled on top of the ruins of another, and western Europe, with its massive stone monuments more ancient than the Egyptian pyramids. They argue that neurological patterns hardwired into the brain help explain the art and society that Neolithic people produced. Drawing on the latest research, the authors skillfully link material on human consciousness, imagery, and religious concepts to propose provocative new theories about the causes of an ancient revolution in cosmology and the origins of social complexity. In doing so they create a fascinating neurological bridge to the mysterious thought-lives of the past and reveal the essence of a momentous period in human history. 100 illustrations, 20 in color.
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The Leakey Family and the Quest for Humankind's Beginnings

Author: Virginia Morell

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781439143872

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 640

View: 2623

This biography of the "First Family" of anthropology reveals how their discoveries, collaborations, and rivalries contributed to our own knowledge of the origins of humankind. In this fascinating and authoritative work, acclaimed science writer Virginia Morell brings to vivid life the famous and infamous Leakey family, pioneers in the field of paleoanthropology: Louis Leakey, the patriarch, who persisted through initial scientific failures and scandal-ridden divorce to achieve spectacular success in digs throughout East Africa; Mary, his second wife, who worked alongside Louis as they made their outstanding discoveries at Olduvai Gorge and elsewhere; and Richard, their son, who ascended to the top of the field in his parents’ wake, only to be threatened with both near-fatal illness and fierce professional rivalry. Morell transports us into the world of these compelling personalities, demonstrating how a small clan of highly talented and fiercely competitive people came to dominate an entire field of science and to contribute immeasurably to our understanding of the origins of humanity.
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Author: Lynne Kelly

Publisher: Pegasus Books

ISBN: 1681773821

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 6345

The discovery of a powerful memory technique used by our Neolithic ancestors in their monumental memory places—and how we can use their secrets to train our own minds In ancient, pre-literate cultures across the globe, tribal elders had encyclopedic memories. They could name all the animals and plants across a landscape, identify the stars in the sky, and recite the history of their people. Yet today, most of us struggle to memorize more than a short poem. Using traditional Aboriginal Australian song lines as a starting point, Dr. Lynne Kelly has since identified the powerful memory technique used by our ancestors and indigenous people around the world. In turn, she has then discovered that this ancient memory technique is the secret purpose behind the great prehistoric monuments like Stonehenge, which have puzzled archaeologists for so long. The henges across northern Europe, the elaborate stone houses of New Mexico, huge animal shapes in Peru, the statues of Easter Island—these all serve as the most effective memory system ever invented by humans. They allowed people in non-literate cultures to memorize the vast amounts of information they needed to survive. But how? For the first time, Dr. Klly unlocks the secret of these monuments and their uses as "memory places" in her fascinating book. Additionally, The Memory Code also explains how we can use this ancient mnemonic technique to train our minds in the tradition of our forbearers.
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