Danube Valley Civilization Artefacts

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


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


Yes sorry I meant "descendants". was half asleep when I wrote that unfortunately.

But you should understand what is called "bulgarian" now is not what was "bulgarian" 1200 or more years ago. It's like equating Hungarians to Huns (that is where the name comes from). The protobulgarians were a small army compared to the people populating today's bulgaria.. In fact the greek historians said the Thracians were the most numerous people on earth. They would not disappear. They were merely romanized (during Roman Empire invasion) and the slavicized.

Bulgarians came around 700AD true,but they were not the ancestors of thracyans but the other way around thracyans were the older populations there. Dacians were already there when Bulgarians came. They were fighting against Roman Empire hundreds of years before. Bulgarians nowadays are genetically related with Romanians,Greeks and north Italians only because their roots are the same old thracyans. Most probably Bulgarians came there and impose their culture and language but genetically they were assimilated by the existing population,because original Bulgarians have nothing in common with dacians or thracyans. Dacians are ancestors of Romanians,Romania today was named Dacia 2000 years ago,therefore Romanians are one of the oldest population in Europe,they didn't come from nowhere but instead assimilated all the others who migrated on those lands.

First off your timeline is very wrong. Protobulgarians like the huns invade europe around 5-6th century. Bulgaria (the Danube one) as it's currently named is formed in the 7th century. after 1000 Bulgaria was already the 2nd most powerful state after the Eastern Roman Empire.

Bulgarians are ancestors of the Thracians. Nobody is a pure descendant of single ethnos anywhere in the world unless you are on an isolated island. However genetic research shows bulgarians to be a mediterranean ethnicity very close to the italians and most slavs.
Culture and ethnicity are very different things however.

bulgarian tribs come in europe after 1000
the olderst tribs are rtacian and dacians

These are the ancestors of the Bulgarians!


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