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TEDTalks (audio)

TED Conferences LLC

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Want TED Talks on the go? Every week, this feed brings you our latest talks in audio format. Hear thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable – from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between – given by the world's leading thinkers and doers. This collection of talks, given at TED and TEDx conferences around the globe, is also available in video format.

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Why are these 32 symbols found in ancient caves all over Europe? | Genevieve von Petzinger

November 20th, 2015

Episode 457 of 855 episodes

Written language, the hallmark of human civilization, didn't just suddenly appear one day. Thousands of years before the first fully developed writing systems, our ancestors scrawled geometric signs across the walls of the caves they sheltered in. Paleoanthropologist, rock art researcher and TED Senior Fellow Genevieve von Petzinger has studied and codified these ancient markings in caves across Europe. The uniformity of her findings suggest that graphic communication, and the ability to preserve and transmit messages beyond a single moment in time, may be much older than we think.

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