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The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols (Inglés) Tapa dura – 1 jun 2016

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"The fundamental elements of the art of the Upper Paleolithic remained essentially unchanged for at least 20,000 years, five times the chronological distance that separates us from the builders of the Great Pyramids at Giza. For generations scholars have attempted to understand this slow unfolding of consciousness, this primordial flash of the human spirit that ultimately led to the creation of culture. Genevieve von Petzinger reveals that, beyond the figurative art, the iconic images of horses and bison so transcendent in their beauty, are 32 signs that may represent a vocabulary written literally in stone, symbols that offer an opening into the Paleolithic mind. This may represent one of the most extraordinary scientific insights of our time." -- Wade Davis, author of The Serpent and the Rainbow Professor of Anthropology Faculty Associate, University of British Columbia "If you love mysteries, you'll love this book. Archaeologist 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. You'll feel as if you're with her as she plunges into caverns to examine the ancient and exquisite depictions of horses, mammoths, and bison. And you'll puzzle with her over the strange, abstract symbols the artists often painted alongside the animals. Scientists have long debated these images. Now, von Petzinger offers a new way to think about why our distant relatives created this art, and what it means. You'll come away with a deeper appreciation for these great artists, their love of animals and the natural world, and their connection to us." -- Virginia Morell, author of Animal Wise and Ancestral Passions. "Few mysteries intrigue more than what the numerous abstract symbols they inscribed on cave walls actually meant to the gifted artists of the last Ice Age. In this wonder-filled book Genevieve von Petzinger takes us tens of thousands of years back in time, and to some stunningly beautiful sites, in a fascinating attempt to penetrate the psyches of those ancient people." -- Ian Tattersall, author of The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack and Other Cautionary Tales from Human Evolution and Curator of the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins, American Museum of Natural History "I enjoyed reading Genevieve von Petzinger's book The First Signs: My Quest to Unlock the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols. Ms. Von Petzinger has created a fascinating look at signs found in the caves that have not been thought of before. I have been in many of the caves myself and recognized many of the symbols. I thought her analysis of the symbols reflected the intelligence of our ancient ancestors. She has done a remarkable job of analyzing part of the cave art that has never been done in that way before." -- Jean Auel, author of the bestselling Earth's Children series "My grandmother, Mary Leakey, traced some of the oldest known rock art in Africa, and while my work spans a much earlier time, this is something that I've always been curious about. In this fascinating book, Genevieve von Petzinger takes you on a journey through later prehistory, interspersed with personal anecdotes of her exploration, often in muddy tunnels in dark caves in remote corners of Europe. She delves expertly into many of the questions I have often contemplated around the earliest expressions of art, symbols and language, providing us with an extensive exploration of the artists in the mostly European landscape and offering her interpretation of the clues and evidence surrounding the later transition towards fully modern cognition." -- Louise Leakey, paleontologist, Director at the Turkana Basin Institute "Brings fresh eyes and fascinating theses to the study of ancient rock art... Lively... Linking these systems to other graphic conventions may eventually yield some sort of Rosetta stone... Anyone who's longed to visit Lascaux or the caves of Cantabria will be eager to read von Petzinger's admirable efforts at cracking the code." Kirkus "The author's style adds immensely to the enjoyment of the book. Von Petzinger's findings are significant for comprehending the origins of symbolic thinking... An exceptional read that should capture the imagination of anyone fascinated by time, humanity, and prehistory." Library Journal (Starred Review) "Outstanding." Ledger-Transcript

Reseña del editor

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. 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 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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Opiniones de clientes más útiles en (beta) 4.2 de un máximo de 5 estrellas 28 opiniones
17 de 18 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Signs of the time 15 de junio de 2016
Por David - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura Compra verificada
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. I've read several nonfiction books on paleoanthropology, but this is the first one I truly felt comfortable reading. I highly recommend this book.
9 de 10 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Great addition to evolutionary studies 13 de octubre de 2016
Por Gregory Tague - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura Compra verificada
I’m pleased to write a short review in praise of Genevieve von Petzinger’s book, The First Signs. The work chronicles von Petzinger’s journey across rock art sites to examine carvings, lines, dots, colors, designs, patterns, and other graphic images, some dating as far back as 40,800 years ago. This is a handsomely produced book filled with black-and-white illustrations and color plates. The author uses these drawings and photographs for the benefit of her readers, often referring to them. There are 16 nicely-written chapters which appeal not only to an educated reader interested in Paleolithic rock art but to a specialist as well. I was especially impressed by chapter 13, “The Lady of St. Germain-la-Rivère and her Mysterious Necklace,” which details a 16 thousand year old grave containing a necklace of 71 deer teeth consisting of 45 differently engraved signs. The fact that these signs were strung together in sequence (now lost) attests to very early compound signs. As elsewhere in the book, von Petzinger suggests that a case for graphic communication precedes writing. The range of topics related to the subject von Petzinger covers is comprehensive. As an experienced TED Talk presenter, she ably succeeds in conveying much information gracefully. Just a few areas she easily manages include: human evolution, rock art (including types and images), language, patterns, colors, Ice Age cultures, cave paintings, hand printing, and theories of rock art (from sexual selection to shamanism). Von Petzinger has created a database of Paleolithic rock art graphics and concludes that entopic signs provide no evidence there’s a pattern of shamanistic ritual related to rock art in caves. Von Petzinger supports findings of Sally McBrearty, Alison Brooks, and April Nowell pointing to Neanderthal art and no sudden neural leap of 50 thousand years ago. I found von Petzinger’s book immensely useful and reader friendly, so I’d strongly recommend it for students of evolutionary studies. –Gregory F. Tague, Ph.D., author, Evolution and Human Culture.
6 de 7 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Must for every one interested in archaeology 27 de noviembre de 2016
Por Dixie - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura Compra verificada
Excellent book. Anyone interested in rock art or archaeology should purchase this book. Well written and very informative. Although I am more focused on pre-Columbia archaeology much of the information in the book was still very interesting and useful. For instance who knew that weaving and other textiles have been traced back 30,000 years. This will affect how "New World" archaeologists think about the "origin" of textiles in this county.
2 de 2 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Well-written and fascinating! 8 de febrero de 2017
Por Margaret - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura Compra verificada
Gift for my husband, who is very interested in early cave paintings... he assumed nobody had tried to figure out the many smaller elements/representations in cave paintings, and is excited about the research presented in this book!
4 de 5 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
5.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Fascinating Subject 27 de diciembre de 2016
Por moreld - Publicado en
Formato: Tapa dura Compra verificada
A very interesting book covering a subject that is really unique, which concerns the meaning of symbolic writing that goes back to over 40,000 years ago. The author does an amazing job of taking a subject that has really no hard answers to it, and presents it in such a way that it comes across understandable, as well as very fascinating. A great presentation that unfortunately raises more questions that can possibly be answered. Would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in early man and early society. The book is well written and well edited, with a great selection of photographs that contribute to understanding the mystery of the earliest signs.