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


Very interesting article indeed!
The questions I have are why Bulgaria has never been mentioned in the article, but Romania and Croatia instead? Coincident? Doubtfully!
The oldest ceramic plates with the writings, showed on the pictures, are found in the village of Gradeshnitsa, in Bulgaria - nearby the town of Vratsa. Also the village of Karanovo, nearby the town of Stara Zagora, Bulgaria! The author didn't know that? I doubt it! Looks like he haven't read for the Scriptura Mundi project either. It comes to say, that the population on this land, nowadays Bulgaria, to spawn 4 of the world writing systems - reference Scriptura Mundi project.
Most likely he didn't also know, that the oldest hand crafted gold treasure in the world is found nearby town of Varna.
What a shame!!!
Before writing it is a very good idea to read a lot before that!!!

What about the Basques? It seems everyone else, including the Thracians, came from somewhere else but the Basques & their ancestors always seemed to occupy the same area S. of France & N. of Spain. The Basques seem to be as endemic in their locale as the the Vinca were to their lands.

Is Vinca really the biggest and most famous ? or just between the first ?
Please be so kind as to take care with the academic context of such actions ( naming of a culture ). Let history tell the truth, not the ones establishing it ..

Yours humbly,
A social observer !

Dear John Black,
This sentence "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) for me is very funny. Do you know that in the middle is SERBIA, simple as that, 6 letters. Why is always problem for Anglo-Saxons to say that Vinca is location near Belgrade capital of Serbia. Vinca is the biggest and most famous archaeological location of Vinca culture as name already said, and it is in Serbia, near Belgrade. Simple as that. Sorry because first letters of Europe wasn't invented in London, Paris or Berlin. Probably Serbs didn't invented it also but it is on territory of our proud country. You can't mention Serbia when you talk of Vica culture? What? You never heard of it or didn't find on map? Let me tell that your army always know where it is, your army planes bombed Serbia, in 1943. (we were on your side against nazzi, why did they do it for sake) also they bombed it 1999. and take third of land (holy land) and give it to Albanian nationalists and narko organizations formed in new country (kosovo). Than your people knew where were we, and who were we, but when you talk about some culture... it is very hard for you to mention Serbia. Shame Aglo-Saxons ... shame.

…..Geometric symbols have been around for 500,000 years.

They are all astronomical-based, with the lines aligning to the astronomical values used to predict eclipses.

The reason why archaeologists are quiet is they are limited to studying only one specific time period and one specific material (Bronze, Iron, or Stone). Archaeologists that study the Stone Age simply do not study ancient writing… even when you show them the data, and they agree that the data is consistent they say “it is not in my field, sorry I can’t help you”. 

If you are waiting for an archaeologist to do something you are going to have to wait a long time….


Enigmatic Lines


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