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

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The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World's Oldest Symbols
Author: Von Petzinger, Genevieve
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Time Period: Prehistory
Time Frame: 30,000 BCE
Geographic Area: Europe
Country: various
Topics: Stone Age, Cave Art
Genre: Non Fiction
Reading Age: Adult
Format: Book
Published: 2016

World History > Prehistory > Stone Age

“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 species, and how this cave art laid the foundation for so much of the technology that we enjoy today.

Emily's Review

Ifound this book to be absolutely fascinating. I've always been curious about prehistoric peoples. There is just so much that we don't, and probably can't know about their lives. What I loved about this book is that the author has chosen to make it her lifes work to discover as much about them as possible, through the art that they left behind. Part travelogue and part historical research, I feel like I learned so much about stone age people from this book.

I found her research about geometric symbols and the possiblity of proto-writing to be really interesting. I really hope she writes more about this in the future as she goes further with her research.

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