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The First Signs

Author : Genevieve von Petzinger
ISBN : 9781476785509
Genre : Art
File Size : 86.56 MB
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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.
Category: Art

The First Signs

Author : Genevieve von Petzinger
ISBN : 9781476785493
Genre : Art
File Size : 55.95 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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"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"--
Category: Art

The First Signs

Author : Genevieve von Petzinger
ISBN : 9781476785516
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 53.75 MB
Format : PDF
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“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.
Category: Social Science

The First Artists In Search Of The World S Oldest Art

Author : Paul Bahn
ISBN : 9780500773925
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 43.3 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science

Cave Paintings And The Human Spirit

Author : David S. Whitley
ISBN : 9781615920563
Genre : Science
File Size : 64.6 MB
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The magnificent prehistoric art discovered in caves throughout France and Spain raises many questions about early human culture. What do these superbly rendered paintings of horses, bison, and enigmatic human figures and symbols mean? How can we explain the sudden flourishing of artistic creativity at such a high level? And in what ways does this artwork reflect the underlying belief system, worldview, and life of the people who created it? In this fascinating discussion of ancient art and religion, Dr David S Whitley -- one of the world's leading experts on cave paintings--guides the reader in an exploration of these intriguing questions, while sharing his firsthand experiences in visiting these exquisite, breath-taking sites. To grasp what drove these ancient artists to create these masterpieces, and to understand the origin of myth and religion, as Whitley explains, is to appreciate what makes us human. Moreover, he broadens our understanding of the genesis of creativity and myth by proposing a radically new and original theory that weds two seemingly warring camps from separate disciplines. On the one hand, archaeologists specialising in prehistoric cave paintings have argued that the visionary rituals of shamans led to the creation of this expressive art. They consider shamanism to be the earliest known form of religion. By contrast, evolutionary psychologists view the emergence of religious beliefs as a normal expression of the human mind. In their eyes, the wild and ecstatic trances of shamans were a form of aberrant behaviour. Far from being typical representatives of ancient religion, shamans were exceptions to the normal rule of early religion. Whitley resolves the controversy by interweaving the archaeological evidence with the latest findings of cutting-edge neuroscience. He thereby rewrites our understanding of shamanism and its connection with artistic creativity, myth, and religion. Combining a colourful narrative describing Whitley's personal explorations at key archaeological sites with robust scientific research, Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit makes for engrossing reading. It provides a profound and poignant perspective on what it means to be human.
Category: Science

Conceiving God The Cognitive Origin And Evolution Of Religion

Author : David Lewis-Williams
ISBN : 9780500770436
Genre : Religion
File Size : 45.66 MB
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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.
Category: Religion

What Is Paleolithic Art

Author : Jean Clottes
ISBN : 9780226188065
Genre : Art
File Size : 26.43 MB
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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.
Category: Art

The Oldest Enigma Of Humanity

Author : Bertrand David
ISBN : 9781628723939
Genre : Art
File Size : 32.37 MB
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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.
Category: Art


Author : Michael Winkelman
ISBN : 9780313381812
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 87.81 MB
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This book examines shamanism from evolutionary and biological perspectives to identify the origins of shamanic healing in rituals that enhance individual and group function. * Written by an internationally recognized scholar on shamanism * Illustrates evidence of ancient shamanic practices * A bibliography provides current and historical sources on shamanism
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Ice Age Art

Author : Jill Cook
ISBN : 0714123331
Genre : Art
File Size : 37.41 MB
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This unique and remarkable work explores the extraordinary creative explosion that happened during the last European Ice Age, between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago, when the very first figurative art was created.
Category: Art