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


How come, since Bulgarians are Turcic tribes from Volga river, that mixed with Serbs in the Balkans, who were alredy there. So you are saying that Bulgarians borrowed language from Serbs, but gave them alphabet!? For the record, Serbs are desendants of Illyrius, son of Cadmus, who brought alphabet to Europe/Greeks, from Phoenicia. If you look up to the Vinca letters you will recognize among them Serbian cross with crescents, used still today as symbol of Serbs.

Do you ?! And you somehow "forget" to mention that the Serbian alphabet originates from Bulgarian.

It is not a first time that westerner "historians" somehow "forget" to mention Serbs...latest, blatant case is this one, since Vinca is a suburb of Belgrade, in the middle of the Serbia, but noone bothers to mention that....not to mention that Vinca culture alphabet have some similarities with Serb alphabet. No, no, no Slavs before 6th century in Balkan that is the rule !!!!!

Dear propagandistic neighbour...

The people of the world are neither stupid, neither not-informed as you think in your narrow-minded attempt to further propagate such an overstated and outdated programme as the Hungarian self-explanatory historical roots one..

Please be so kind as to not further troll scientific discussion forums with what seems to be 'data', without proper referencing and quotations ! Furthermore, please be so kind as to no longer perpetuate this hateful and xenophobic schedule of constant information placement regarding the so called 'ancient' roots of the magyar people. You and I and most people know that what are now Hungarians living within the boundaries of Hungary contain just a hint of 'Old Magyar' blood and genes. It's not my purpose here to point out to references, as anyone with common sense and a critic eye is able to find them by themselves..

I write from experience when saying that I have encountered this kind of Internet focused trolling on behalf on Hungarian right sided 'ultras', on topics ranging from arts, history, genetic science, ethnology, linguistics, human rights, paleoanthropology & anthropology, even economy and social studies, etc..

Humbly yours, an observer of history !

...and, long before that, Hungarians created the planets, the sun. the univers...and also, they invented the rain, the air and everything else on planet Earth...and then they move in Asia and live like savages for a few milleniums, and forget every knowledge...common Lotzi, wake up and don't be so ridiculos


Next article