Genevieve von Petzinger: Ancient Cave Art | Explorer Academy: The Truth Behind

California’s Death Valley is the hottest desert in North America but for one Explorer it’s a scientific playground that hides the lost art of ancient people so at the moment I am standing in the place called fossil Falls this used to be a waterfall [Music] the co so people lived right in this vicinity and so you could think of this sort of dried-out waterfall as being their backyard and just like we do today they decorated their backyard rock art like this can be over tens of thousands of years old the first people left rock carvings and cave paintings all over Europe Asia and over time the Americas [Music] archaeologist Genevieve on pet singer has followed that trail all the way to scorching California us are we checked it was 112 degrees Fahrenheit we’re only two valleys over from Death Valley right here so this is uh this is pretty much as hot as it gets it’s rocky going but worth the effort [Music] this is basically like a big tube that goes from surface level down into the fall we’ve only been here for over 15 minutes so far and just in this one little area we’ve already found some new engravings which is really exciting even if we can only say it’s a bighorn sheep obviously it was meaningful to them they went to the effort of crawling in here to make it not only did they engrave some really interesting image isn’t here but there’s also very cool acoustic properties so the way it sounds in here what I’m talking there’s a really interesting echo going on so it’s interesting to wonder if it wasn’t just about the pictures but maybe also both the sound at the same time getting to go hike around and explore what they dreamed when I was a little kid so it’s pretty cool that I should get to do it now that I’m a grown-up the older the art the harder it is to find I’m sure you’re like hunky tell this little scratching thing on the rock is well when you first scraped through the rock it would have looked really white so kind of like this modern graffiti K over here which you should never do don’t be defacing the rock panels we’ve got our modern K and you can see how white it is the fact that this one’s starting to fade back towards the dark color tells us that it’s older if you think about it these are like the great-great-great great-great grandparents of emojis simple little characters with huge amounts of information embedded into them but you need to be part of the culture group to be able to decipher it you have to know the code ten thousand year old emojis and there’s even more to explore they’re finding new caves all the time there’s somebody know what I’m not allowed to talk about yet and you know that’s the thing is that there’s only a few of us doing this and we need more people is really the bottom line there are so many caves out there just waiting to be discovered you you you

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