Genevieve von Petzinger

Paleoanthropologist and rock art researcher
Genevieve von Petzinger studies the geometric signs found in early European Ice Age rock art sites.

Why you should listen

Genevieve von Petzinger is a Canadian paleoanthropologist and rock art researcher finishing up her doctorate at the University of Victoria. She studies some of the oldest art in the world -- Ice Age cave art created by early humans 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, and she's interested in how these images can help us to better understand human cognitive evolution as well as track ancient patterns of migration and explore the origins of symbolism and graphic communication. Her research has been featured both nationally and internationally in print, radio and television. In 2013, Genevieve was selected as a TED Senior Fellow.

Genevieve has a book about her latest research and this fascinating period in our human history coming out from Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., in May 2016. 

Genevieve von Petzinger’s TED talk

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Live from TED

The music of sign language, a computer of water drops: 21 TED Fellows share ideas that swim against the tide

August 28, 2015

Tides are strong. They move swiftly, sweeping all toward the shore. But TED Fellows refuse to simply drift with the water. They are innovators, advocates and artists who challenge the status quo and work in the spaces between disciplines. At the second TED Fellows Retreat — held from August 25-28, 2015, and themed “Swimming Against the Tide” — about […]

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