penniform

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin penna (feather) + English -form.

Adjective[edit]

penniform (comparative more penniform, superlative most penniform)

  1. Feather-shaped.
    Penniform symbols were inscribed on the wall of the cave.

Noun[edit]

penniform (plural penniforms)

  1. (archaeology) A symbol that is shaped like a feather.
    • 1970, Stuart Macdonald, The History and Philosophy of Art Education, 2004, Lutterworth Press, page 335,
      Even in the palaeolithic periods symbols abound such as cup markings, tectiforms, penniforms, groups of dots, rectangles, lattice designs, symbolic vulvas, and so on.
    • 2011, Pat Shipman, The Animal Connection: A New Perspective on What Makes Us Human, page 145,
      Startlingly, the much earlier Blombos cave engravings clearly fit neatly into several of Von Petzinger's categories: lines, crosshatching, cruciforms, penniforms, and perhaps others.
    • 2016 November 12, Hidden Symbols, New Scientist, Issue 3099, page 36,
      The symbols she found ranged from dots, lines, triangles, squares and zigzags to more complex forms like ladder shapes, hand stencils, something called a tectiform that looks a bit like a post with a roof, and feather shapes called penniforms. In some places, the signs were part of bigger paintings. Elsewhere, they were on their own, like the row of bell shapes found in El Castillo in northern Spain (see picture below), or the panel of 15 penniforms in Santian, also in Spain. [] The earliest known penniform is from about 28,000 years ago in the Grande Grotte d’Arcy-sur-Cure in northern France, and later appears a little to the west of there before spreading south. Eventually, it reaches northern Spain and even Portugal.