THE FIRST SIGNS UNLOCKING THE MYSTERIES OF THE WORLDS OLDEST SYMBOLS

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The First Signs

Author : Genevieve von Petzinger
ISBN : 9781476785509
Genre : Art
File Size : 85.17 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 : 44.77 MB
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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 : 44.72 MB
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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

Cave Paintings And The Human Spirit

Author : David S. Whitley
ISBN : 9781615920563
Genre : Science
File Size : 68.25 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

The First Artists In Search Of The World S Oldest Art

Author : Paul Bahn
ISBN : 9780500773925
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 41.58 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

Relating To Rock Art In The Contemporary World

Author : Liam M. Brady
ISBN : 9781607324980
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 55.87 MB
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Rock art has long been considered an archaeological artifact reflecting activities from the past, yet it is also a phenomenon with present-day meaning and relevance to both indigenous and non-indigenous communities. Relating to Rock Art in the Contemporary World challenges traditional ways of thinking about this highly recognizable form of visual heritage and provides insight into its contemporary significance. One of the most visually striking forms of material culture embedded in landscapes, rock art is ascribed different meanings by diverse groups of people including indigenous peoples, governments, tourism offices, and the general public, all of whom relate to images and sites in unique ways. In this volume, leading scholars from around the globe shift the discourse from a primarily archaeological basis to one that examines the myriad ways that symbolism, meaning, and significance in rock art are being renegotiated in various geographical and cultural settings, from Australia to the British Isles. They also consider how people manage the complex meanings, emotions, and cultural and political practices tied to rock art sites and how these factors impact processes relating to identity construction and reaffirmation today. Richly illustrated and geographically diverse, Relating to Rock Art in the Contemporary World connects archaeology, anthropology, and heritage studies. The book will appeal to students and scholars of archaeology, anthropology, heritage, heritage management, identity studies, art history, indigenous studies, and visual theory, as well as professionals and amateurs who have vested or avocational interests in rock art. Contributors: Agustín Acevedo, Manuel Bea, Jutinach Bowonsachoti, Gemma Boyle, John J. Bradley, Noelene Cole, Inés Domingo, Kurt E. Dongoske, Davida Eisenberg-Degen, Dánae Fiore, Ursula K. Frederick, Kelley Hays-Gilpin, Catherine Namono, George H. Nash, John Norder, Marianna Ocampo, Joshua Schmidt, Duangpond Singhaseni, Benjamin W. Smith, Atthasit Sukkham, Noel Hidalgo Tan, Watinee Tanompolkrang, Luke Taylor, Dagmara Zawadzka
Category: Social Science

Prehistoric Rock Art

Author : Paul G. Bahn
ISBN : 9780521140874
Genre : Art
File Size : 32.25 MB
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Prehistoric rock art is the markings - paintings, engravings, or pecked images - left on rocks or cave walls by ancient peoples. In this book, Paul G. Bahn provides a richly illustrated overview of prehistoric rock art and cave art from around the world. Summarizing the recent advances in our understanding of this extraordinary visual record, he discusses new discoveries, new approaches to recording and interpretation, and current problems in conservation. Bahn focuses in particular on current issues in the interpretation of rock art, notably the "shamanic" interpretation that has been influential in recent years and that he refutes. This book is based on the Rhind Lectures that the author delivered for the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2006.
Category: Art

Ardipithecus Kadabba

Author : Yohannes Haile-Selassie
ISBN : 9780520254404
Genre : Science
File Size : 86.95 MB
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"The late F. Clark Howell had a vision of paleoanthropology as a fully integrated set of many scientific disciplines. This meticulously documented work is the first in a series that fulfills his vision. It is a magisterial synthesis of important early hominid fossils and their contemporaneous mammals placed in regionally dated stratigraphic sequences and reconstructed paleoenvironments. It is enhanced by images of sites and moments of discovery that are usually left to popular articles and that will give the reader a glimpse of the rigors of field work in a remote region of Africa."--Alan Walker, Pennsylvania State University "This carefully planned and creatively crafted book is a record of a previously little-known niche of Africa's past. It recounts the tale of more than three thousand fossils, including twenty hominid specimens representing the new ancestral species Ardipithecus kadabba and their location in space, time and environment. Together they paint a picture of Africa in the late Miocene, of five to six million years ago. It was a part of northeast Africa, the Middle Awash of Ethiopia, at a time when it was rent by volcanoes and rifting. From this tectonically ravaged past, one marvels at such beauteous byproducts as this book reveals. To do justice to Ethiopia's surprises needs an exceptional book. This volume is worthy of the challenge: it is a model of its kind and will be hard to surpass. Happily, this is the first great volume on such matters to be edited by two sons of Africa, Doctors Haile-Selassie and WoldeGabriel, with a cast of twenty-five contributors from eight countries."--Phillip V. Tobias, F.R.S., For.M.NAS, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg "Here we have the life and times of Ardipithecus kadabba, the intriguing hominin lying near the divergence of the human lineage from that of the African Great Apes. Meticulously put together and rigorously documented, this book illustrates the intrinsic value of the best monographic publications of its kind. It provides rich, detailed information concerning A. kadabba, the other creatures that populated the eastern African landscape in the late Miocene, and their geological and paleoenvironmental surroundings. Synthesizing these data into an illuminating picture of one of our very earliest plausible ancestors, situated in its temporal and environmental context, the book is valuable not just for paleoanthropologists, but for all biologists interested in the ancient fauna of this great region of the world, its history and paleobiogeography."--Andrew Hill, Yale University
Category: Science

Shamanism

Author : Michael Winkelman
ISBN : 9780313381812
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 72.19 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

Conceiving God The Cognitive Origin And Evolution Of Religion

Author : David Lewis-Williams
ISBN : 9780500770436
Genre : Religion
File Size : 42.96 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