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Dr. Genevieve von Petzinger is a Canadian paleoanthropologist, rock art researcher, explorer and author finishing up her doctorate at the University of Victoria. She studies Paleolithic cave art created by early humans (and also possibly Neanderthals) in Europe between 10,000 and 40,000+ years ago. Genevieve's specific focus is on the geometric signs found at many of these sites. For her most recent project, she created a relational database of all known rock art sites in Europe containing geometric imagery (383 sites and counting), and completed an intensive two-year field project that involved visually documenting the signs at fifty-two of these sites across France, Spain, Portugal and Sicily. Genevieve was able to identify thirty-two main signs that repeated at different sites across space and time, allowing her to track ancient patterns of migration and cultural interaction.  She’s also interested in how these enigmatic markings can help us to better understand human cognitive evolution as well as the development of symbolic thought and graphic communication during this early chapter in prehistory.

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