The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols (2020)

The First Signs Unlocking the Mysteries of the World s Oldest Symbols One of the most significant works on our evolutionary ancestry since Richard Leakey s paradigm shattering Origins The First Signs is the first ever exploration of the little known geometric images th
  • Title: The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols
  • Author: Genevieve von Petzinger
  • ISBN: 9781476785493
  • Page: 427
  • Format: Hardcover
  • One of the most significant works on our evolutionary ancestry since Richard Leakey s paradigm shattering Origins, 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.Imagine yourself as a caveman or woman The place Europe ThOne of the most significant works on our evolutionary ancestry since Richard Leakey s paradigm shattering Origins, 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.Imagine yourself as a caveman or woman The place Europe The time 25,000 years ago, the last Ice Age In reality, you live in an open air tent or a bone hut But you also belong to a rich culture that creates art In and around your cave paintings are handprints and dots, x s and triangles, parallel lines and spirals Your people know what they mean You also use them on tools and jewelry And then you vanish and with you, their meanings.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 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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      Genevieve von Petzinger

    One Reply to “The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols”

    1. I ve been fascinated with cave art since I was about 11 or 12 years old I blame Children s Digest I don t know who started my subscription to that periodical, but it started quite an assortment of interests which I still read about whenever possible I distinctly remember a story about a young girl who fell in a hole in Spain and accidentally discovered the Altimira cave system, with its profusion of cave paintings.So imagine my frenzied fangirl squee ing when I discovered that one of the leading [...]

    2. Review title Over promised, under deliveredA better subtitle for this book might be Unlocking the mysteries of how subtitles mislead and why It s not that Von Petzinger has written poorly, but she was unable to deliver on the unrealistic and untrue promise of the subtitle I certainly picked up the book from my library s new book shelf based on the promise of the mystery solved, and was underwhelmed by the reality of the undelivered promise So, context The first signs are geometric symbols that a [...]

    3. If you are even.5% interested in cave art, this work will hook you from the very start She writes with such casual intellect, almost like she s telling you about her research over coffee on a Tuesday By the end of the book, I felt this weird sense of pride for this woman I don t even know and the work she s done She s transcending colleagues in her field and isn t daunted by the incredible challenge her work actually represents I hope to see work from her in the future.

    4. I have to admit I picked this book up under the totally unfounded assumption that it would be about the Neolithic Vinca symbols For the uninitiated, the Vinca culture is a society from the Balkans that flourished c 5700 4800 BCE, which left behind mysterious symbols on their artefacts that could well be the world s first writing system a good two thousand or so years before the earliest examples of Egyptian hieroglyphs or Sumerian cuneiform.But in actual fact Von Petzinger goes way beyond this t [...]

    5. I m not sure on the rating of this one It was a real drag for me to get through, but I think that was due to what else was going on in my life at the time I do feel like she should have given the relevance of the signs in the first or second chapter instead of speaking about it in the last half of the book It would have helped the book overall to understand a lot of what she was saying early on That being said, the ideas and theories that she presents boggle the mind Or at least mine As uneducat [...]

    6. FULL REVIEW WITH AMAZING, JAW DROPPING, HEART STOPPING GIFS HERE AT THE OLD BLOGGOHey hey, cupcakes It s been a minute Blame that chubby little muthafucka Cupid, whose golden arrow hath pierced my once frigid heart and set it ablaze with Love s undying flames Or whatever.Ahem MOVING ON.So as I ve mentioned cough whined about before, my brain has got a severe case of the Love Struck Stupids band name, write that down and my challenge is taking a hit And, you know, my intellectual fortitude and ge [...]

    7. This is an extremely important book about how humans developed in our far distant past Told in an engaging, yet authoritative way, it probably is the most thought provoking book I ve read in months.

    8. cloak and dagger history, approachable read, voluminous data and information, but no new or conclusive declarations Good primer.

    9. At the intersection of art history, archaeology, semiotics, and the origin of writing lies First Signs This delightful book is scholarly yet personable, scientific but also funny Von Petzinger is a genius at distilling complex ideas and theories into a understandable and pleasant narrative she literally takes you on the same journeys that she has taken through the European countryside She describes the landscape as well as the characteristics of each cave she visits I really felt like a fellow e [...]

    10. This book is a nonfiction delight, and well written for the layman Genevieve von Petzinger is extremely talented at writing about her research in a dynamic and captivating way I have read a lot of nonfiction where the topic is fascinating but the book gets bogged down in jargon and the authors inability to write for a wider audience I you are using an e reader, I highly recommend reading this book in a format that allows you to view the images in color.Confession In High School I was mildly obse [...]

    11. I was under the impression that this book had linguistic aspects and explanations, instead of the mostly archaeological and anthropological explanations it contained Even then, the author gave a great recounting of her adventures in European caves descriptions of caves and the surroundings are complete, pictures and notes add to the narration and background information paint an in depth history for those with close to little knowledge of rock art aka me Her brief flashes of humour are fresh I w [...]

    12. Signs and symbols of our earliest ancestors, how cool is that The whole book, very well written grammar, word choice, sentence structure , explores the cognition of humans living 40,000 to 10,000 years ago, but provides no definitive answers that would be unseemly in a scientist However, Dr von Petzinger is unafraid to share her beliefs, her enthusiasm for research, and the very new method by which she attacked the question of symbolic cognition in ancient humans She breaks new ground, and take [...]

    13. This book is about so much than the geometric signs in cave art It is a well structured examination of the origins of human intellect and creativity Von Petzinger s examination of the evidence is thorough and engaging It is rare that I would say I found it hard to put a non fiction book down, but her writing style was very accessible and enjoyable Anyone with an interest in prehistoric art and society will find this book to be worth the read.

    14. Von Petzinger digs into the Paleolithic caves and emerges with patterns of thinking from our distant past Is the Paleolithic mind still our own Bernie Taylor Before Orion Finding the Face of the Hero

    15. Quite dense and monotonous for someone not in the field, but I could still catch the author s energy and excitement I m afraid this one just wasn t for me.

    16. What recent archaeological discoveries may reveal about the development of art and language Accessible and intriguing.

    17. 3.5 stars, wasn t what I expected but I thoroughly enjoyed it just the same She actually doesn t get on the topic of Ice Age geometric signs until halfway through but she sets up the era very well Kind of like Paleolithic culture for dummies which is very appropriate for me because I only knew a little coming in

    18. A non fiction but breezily readable book about cave paintings Many people are aware of the famous Ice Age paintings of animals the horses and bison of Lascaux, the lions and bears at Chauvet but less well known are the abstract, geometric signs which pop up in this art just as often dots, lines, X s, empty squares, etc Mostly this is because the geometeric signs have been largely ignored by archaeologists themselves, who have a tradition of assuming that they re meaningless doodles, patches wher [...]

    19. I thought the book would provide an explanation of the meanings of the first signs symbols that are included in the Ice Age cave art of Europe The amazing paintings of horses and bison get all of the press, but von Petzinger developed a catalog of signs and symbols that actually outnumber the paintings by a ratio of at least two to one p 161 Although she did not unlock the mysteries of the world s oldest symbols by translating their meanings, what she did present was the implication of the very [...]

    20. For anyone interested in rock art this is an interesting book to pick up The author writes in a way that it is easy to understand and follow and explains many ideas for an ordinary person What is incredible is that small children also experimented with art I found it fascinating that a negative handprint was made by blowing pigment either from your mouth or a hollow bone like a straw so that you have an outline of a hand What is incredible is that 22000 28000 years ago there is evidence of elabo [...]

    21. I love language, and symbols, and I love the way her work has led her in this direction Her dedication and passion are evident all through this very well organized report of her findings Her work is surely adding greatly to the ongoing study of the beginnings of us, homo sapiens Her willingness to brave strange situations such as claustrophobic spaces, and mud, and darkness to reap only one small sign of ancient humans having been there in remote locations around the world is interesting enough [...]

    22. I wanted to love it She s writing about an era the fascinates me and the premise wowed me the squiggles and scratches on cave walls that everyone else ignored in favor of the amazing art actually have meaning They re proto writing But she gets kind of breathless and self congratulatory, and sometimes her suppositions mount on each other without distinction from the solid, evidence based narrative She brings her family in and the book has a little travelogue flavor I didn t object to this on its [...]

    23. Genevieve von Petzinger writes memorably after creating a relational database of rock art from caves of the ice age Traveling, visiting, documenting, and comparing them, she persuades her readers that the capacity for communicating with symbols is older than previously thought.You can listen to her TED talk, here ted talks genevieve_vHighest recommendation.

    24. Fascinating tale of this young lady paleontologist who has found a niche for herself in studying the signs or symbols left for us by ancient pre man from 30,000 to 200,000 years ago Most other scientists search out the animals depicted or what appear,to be humans She certainly did not neglect these but spent the greater part of her time trying to figure out what various symbols mean Her first and most prevalent sign was red dots ranging in size from a saucer to a finger print Red was from the oc [...]

    25. We know when writing first began, but what did it come from What came before The First Signs is an attempt to get at that answer All over the paleolithic world, on cave walls and on portable art, graphic symbols were painted or carved They are strangely consistent across space and time with some local variation Some could be memonic devices, some could be local maps or star maps, some images could come from trance visions, some might help in counting and others could be for hunting magic This is [...]

    26. An interesting study of rock paintings, their age and theories as to their meanings and purposes Genevieve von Petzinger reports on the patterns she discovered after recording the geometric figures, which occur frequently than depictions of people or animals, found in known and recently discovered rock paintings sites in Europe, Africa and Asia It is written concisely but in accessible language so that even someone with little anthropologic experience, such as myself, gets absorbed in her findi [...]

    27. I m a fiction writer and am always looking for inspiration Ever since I saw Genevieve von Petzinger s TED talk, I knew I had to read this book It did not disappoint This bright young author expertly tackles the mysteries of the world s oldest symbols The graphic communication signs painted on cave walls by our ancient ancestors beg us to ask, What were they thinking and What were they saying The author approaches the subject in a scientific manner, yet provides her personal thoughts into the mix [...]

    28. An interesting review of Ice Age European rock art paintings and engraving, mainly in caves with a special focus on non figurative art geometric marks such as dots, lines, cross hatches alongside of the noted animal figures in cave art.This appears to be a popularization of the author s PhD research Quite readable and with lots of photographs.

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