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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

Yeah yeah. the serbs are the greatest. heard that before.
saying that some ethnicities gene is older than another is like saying they have evolved less (technically the negros have the oldest genes and africa is where it all started).
as far as where civilization arrived first - there are older evidences of civilization elsewhere in the Danubian plain - one is in bulgaria (varna for instance has the biggest gravesite with the first known evidence of gold mining and fine jewelry crafting).
Also the calendar the "old serbs" used is probably the old bulgarian calendar which is also closely related to the chinese calendar. nothing special about that.

This place is located in Serbia, and the name is Vinca.
In old Serbian calendar we are living in 7523 year, serbian calendar is also confirmed by NASA.
The study from Harvard show that serbian gen is old 12000 years, and that the Serbs are oldest in Europe.
I dont know why, but there are no words in this text about Vinca, where all begined in Europe(those are also the facts)...
Good bye. ;)

When I look at the overall picture that the Danube Valley Civilization portrays I find it difficult to attribute its existence to a narrow band of ethnic origin. I think what we are seeing here is the result of a  vacuum, much like America was. That writing looks so familiar to us because it appears to be a composite. Ofcourse, keep in mind most of the structure of writing is in the inherent mechanics of the human hand and not due to cognitive creativity. Geographically, the area could well have been the hub of a multi- spoked wheel  of an ancient Confederacy, and not a single homogenous nation. Peoples from several regions could have found the needed conditions to flourish as a group and in time achieved a high level of advancement through extrapolation. Eventually, the cohesion of the group fell apart, as it always does. Would'nt suprise me if they ended up finding the first iron use there.

Bulgarians like Romanians are the true descendants of the thracians. Bulgaria itself hosted the Odryssian Kingdom and it was the center of Thracian civilization with Seuthes as king in today's central Bulgaria.
Bulgarians did not wipe out that ethnicity as the Hungarians did not wipe out the ethnicity now in Hungary. They just had a very capable cavalry and hence they took over the leadership rules and organized both states.

Hi,everybody.

Some people who post are less informed.

What about thracians ?
And what about dacians (getae) ? This are daco-romanianan ancestors.

There is no evidence about bulgarians and hungarians ancestors which come very late in the area.

The Iliryans was neighbours of thracians ,same as south greeks.

The ancient greeks fight in Trojans wars and the greeks enemy was helped by thracians.

Thracians tribes are many in the Lower Danube area.

The issue is that we have poor proof of evidence about thracians but....we have something which can't be ignored!

Lets read and enrich our culture,then we can post! Without ridiculous pride !

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