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Danube Valley Civilization Artefacts

Is the Danube Valley Civilization script the oldest writing in the world?

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The Danube Valley civilization is one of the oldest civilizations known in Europe. It existed from between 5,500 and 3,500 BC in the Balkans and covered a vast area, in what is now Northern Greece to Slovakia (South to North), and Croatia to Romania (West to East).

During the height of the Danube Valley civilization, it played an important role in south-eastern Europe through the development of copper tools, a writing system, advanced architecture, including two storey houses, and the construction of furniture, such as chairs and tables, all of which occurred while most of Europe was in the middle of the Stone Age. They developed skills such as spinning, weaving, leather processing, clothes manufacturing, and manipulated wood, clay and stone and they invented the wheel. They had an economic, religious and social structure.

One of the more intriguing and hotly debated aspects of the Danube Valley civilization is their supposed written language.  While some archaeologists have maintained that the ‘writing’ is actually just a series of geometric figures and symbols, others have maintained that it has the features of a true writing system.  If this theory is correct, it would make the script the oldest written language ever found, predating the Sumerian writings in Mesopotamia, and possibly even the Dispilio Tablet , which has been dated 5260 BC.

Danube Valley Civilization Artefacts

Danube Valley Civilization Artifacts ( image source )

Harald Haarmann, a German linguistic and cultural scientist, currently vice-president of the Institute of Archaeomythology , and leading specialist in ancient scripts and ancient languages, firmly supports the view that the Danube script is the oldest writing in the world. The tablets that were found are dated to 5,500 BC, and the glyphs on the tablets, according to Haarmann, are a form of language yet to be deciphered. The symbols, which are also called Vinca symbols, have been found in multiple archaeological sites throughout the Danube Valley areas, inscribed on pottery, figurines, spindles and other clay artifacts.

The Vinca Symbols

The Vinca Symbols (Source: Wikipedia)

Danube Valley Civilisation ArtefactThe implications are huge. It could mean that the Danube Valley Civilization predates all other known civilizations today.  Evidence also comes from thousands of artifacts that have been found, such as the odd-looking figure displayed on the left.  However, the majority of Mesopotamian scholars reject Haarmann’s proposal, suggesting that the symbols on the tablets are just decoration.  This is despite the fact that there are approximately 700 different characters, around the same number of symbols used in Egyptian hieroglyphs . Other scholars even suggested that the Danube Civilization must have copied signs and symbols from the Mesopotamian civilizations, despite the fact that some of the Danube tablets have been found to be older that the Mesopotamian ones.

It appears that this is another case of a theory based on solid research being outright rejected without appropriate consideration. Could this be because it conflicts with the accepted view of which nation holds claim to the ‘first civilization’?  At the very least, Haarmann’s proposal deserves further research and serious analysis in order to confirm whether this is indeed the oldest known written language in the world. 

Featured image ( image source )

By John Black

Related Links

Introduction to the Danube Script

The Old European Script – Further Evidence

Sacred Script: Ancient Marks from Old Europe

Old European Script

Comments

Well, not quite...Serbs were called serves in Roman (and subsequent derived from roman tradition like Venice, etc.) and Byzantine accounts, but not in other. First Serb reference in Roman empire is city Serbonum in modern day city of Gradiška in Serbian republic in 2 AD. First account of Serbs in universally undisputed account is in Frankish "Annales regni francorum" from 822 AD, where they mention Serbs as Sorabos (not serves) for south Serbs as well northern Serbs (still in existence as Luznic Serbs or Sorbs in modern day Germany, occupying part of Bohemia-ancient Bojka, prot Serb land, according to Byzantie emperor Constantinus Porfirogenitus), and those were also written in latin language, same as Roman account but with different name for Serbs, because Francs used Slavic word for Serbs (Sorabos). In other words the name that Serbs use for themselves. In other Slavic accounts like Chronicles of Dalimil (Chech XIV AD) od Nestor's Chronicles (Russian VIII AD), Serbs are called Serbs. You must know that letters V and B were always interchangeable in Roman languages as well in Slavic, so in Spain locals call city of Valencia-Balencia, In west there is Byzantine but in Slavic is "Vitazantija", and in Serbian Cyrilic, sign B is actualy used for letter V and so on. Not just that, in Roman and modern day English, word slave is derived from Slav, (as Slavic people). Two modern countries have names derived from Slav-Slovenija and Slovakia as well as Slavonija region in Croatia and former YugoSLAVIJA and Serbian religion custom SLAVA, although in Slavic languages Slav means something totally different than slave. It derives from old Slavic root: SLOVA- which means word. In Slavic, Slavs are the one who knows how to speak or the ones who knows words-slova, and the rest (in old Slavic times all the rest were it's neighbours Germans) are called Nemci-meaning in Slavic, the ones who are mute (nem-in Slavic). Even today all Slavic people calls Germans Nemci and country of Germany is called Nemačka.
I don't about the Bulgars, but Bulgars are most likely to be settlers from Asia (4-5 AD). Bulgars were slavenized, since Bulgarian language is of Slavic origin and modern Serbs and Bulgars can understand each other if they talk slowly. Almost all Bulgarian Slavic neighbours in Balkans were Serbs, so you do the math who predominantly culturally influenced who, so that Bulgarians forget it's own language (this goes also for "tracian" theory of Bulgarian origin). On the other hand, Serbs were always Slavs, have their ancestry in old Slavic proto country (Luznic Serbs or Sorbs-modern day Germany) and Serbian clerics still learn old Slavic in Religious schools so they are almost only ones who keep old Slavic alive). Furthermore, Serbs are the only ones in Slavic south who take pride in their Slavic heritage as all the other "former" south Slavic nations have new dominant science theory that they derived from ancient Macedonians (modern day Macedonians-of Slavic origin, no relation to ancient Macedonians-Greeks), Croatians (from Germans or, even more ridiculously from Iranians), Montenegrins (from ancient Romans-Diocleans), Bulgars (from Thracians) and Bosniaks (from Iliryans). Needles to say that all of them speak same language as Serbs (apart from Bulgarians and Macedonians, but their language is very similar) and their biggest minority (in all afore mentioned countries is Serbs, apart from Bulgaria), and still they all claim language as their own (as said before apart from Bulgaria), that Serbs "borrowed" ("Romans", "Germans", "Ilyrians" and "ancient Macedinians" claim Slavic language away from Serbs who are only proud of their undoubtfull Slavic heritage? Funny, isn't it?).
As for Vinča culture goes, there is very little possibility that those ancient people have anything to do with modern day Serbs or any modern Balkan nation whatsoever. As for the lettering, few things cross my mind: First, why all scientific circles denounce it as not being a proper writing, when we have clearly signs that resemble modern letters (or Phoenician or Greek) as well as few universally known signs, such as cross, sun, bull (all were letters in ancient writings). How come there is more elaborate signs that are universally known such as svastika? There is signs like this I, II, III, IIII-how come that is not counting? And finally, there is cross with for mirrored letters C (C is S in cyrilic), Serbian coat of arms (even today), that is unlike any other coat of arms in world (see it for yourself). Is that strange or what? And someone said it here before-Vinča culture is just a ancestor of even more old culture-Lepenski Vir culture, also on Danube, and also in Serbia, but that culture is hardly a "civilization". Still, interesting though. Whole Lepenski Vir settlement is now museum covered with Dome, and with magnificent Stone age sculptures on bank of Danube in Serbia.

Mark H. Williams's picture

Hmm. Tatars, Arvanaties, Ghegs, Sub-Saharan Ethiopians and Denyen have nothing to do with this old civilization in Vinca. Serbs, Croats, Vlachs, Tosks and Macedonians do as natives. Even older artefacts were found in Eastern Macedonia (rock art) and the now famous Bosnian pyramids. Call them Slavs, whatever, it’s their ancestry.

Are Serbs Moesians? Serfs (Servs) is a name for feudal agricultural laborer, Vulgar for someone illiterate and rude. Obviously these are descriptive and pejorative names given by Romans. What are the original ethnic names?

Mark

Pallas Athena is a god from old europe or danube civilisation. All greeks are "old european" probably the ions an dorians Where barbaric or nomadic indo-european, thats what herodotus admits. Greek terminology or thaughts are danube civilisation orientated. Thats how greeks are and see the world. If you ask me the indo-germanic scolars should admit that mycenean greeks are also from the danube urheimat. Not Kurgan. You germanics say: iTS better to burn out, than to fade away. We greeks are Gods.

I am sick and tried of jealous European lying and spreading lies. Harappa in Pakistan dates back to 9,000 years! The FIRST people to use the 35,000 year old Hindi swastika.

If this culture is suppose to be the first why are there no structures? why hasn't there been a photo of the location or item they found this could be language? what makes people think this cultures genetic makeup was western European more specifically the old blonde hair and blue eyes stereotype, because less be honest that's what most people are thinking, pretty ironic since theirs a better chance they could be Eurasians lol. Mesopotamia has the structures and photos to back up its claim of civilization ive yet to see this culture do the same. I know Marija Gimbutas was the person who came up with this theory of Danube as the earliest civ but the fact that there is no evidence aside from a couple little figurins is troubling although I must admit what bothers me more is that a couple morons will use this claim for their own bigoted agenda yet this theory could be another solutrean hypothesis just like that was another Piltdown man. With the lack of real evidence I think its safe to say this theory will either be debunked or exposed in the future.Sorry but you gotta have better evidence than little figurins to prove to me its the earliest civilization.

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