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


John, the only fact you got right was that Bulgarians found a country Bulgaria in 681 AD. Bulgarians are totally different from Romanians or Dacians.

When the Bulgarians and Slavs came they assimilated the local small population of Tracians tribes. They all lived in piece including with the Eastern Roman Empire which grew to become Bysantian just a little later. Sources date back Tracians just like these article says 5000+ years before AD. In the past 5-10 years In Bulgaria for the first time were found remnants and objects dating back from 7000 years ago. Check some of the comments below for the sites.

Did you know that were at 9 different periods Bulgarian villages (I do not want o call it kingdoms) in the lands of today's Asia?

Read more reliable source before you conclude much. The history in these lands is very interlined and it is easy to state untrue facts.

well i don't disagree with any of that. even DNA studies show that current bulgarians are closely related to the ancient thracians.

"original Bulgarians have nothing in common with dacians and thracians" This is not true in modern Bulgaria has many words of Thracian origin, also customs, folklore clothing, musical instruments, household items ... Thracians leave from the Danube plain in different directions, even to Egypt and East Asia. Bastet is Thracian princess who goes to Egypt with his entire family. "Lamellar" is Thracian armor that later appeared in Sarmatians :) Attila is dynasty Dulo. Dulo is Bulgarian dynasty. Greeks, Byzantines and Russians replace Bulgarian history, and tried to hide the truth about many events and facts. Even now quite scientists and historians silent about many facts. Ancient authors mention Thracian tribes and Bulgarians as the same people, small Illustrative "Mesia hec & Vulgaria" (Misia,moesia here and Bulgaria)-IV AD. The Moesi are Thracian tribe that even in ancient times was called and Bulgarian. Taka that Thracians crossed the Danube, created powerful states in Russia and Asia and cities from stone, after many years again returned with a huge army in the old lands along the Danube. Constantine IV saw this in the area "Onglos" and some days not dare to attack :)...

"original Bulgarians have nothing in common with dacians or thracyans"
nobody knows that for sure. in fact there is very little information on the protobulgarians. but one thing is for sure - they were not mongoloid and that is based on analysis of skull structure. they did perhaps use some form of turkic writing but that doesn't mean they were turkic ethnicity. they were merely in contact with the Khazars and other turkic states and probably adopted some of the culture. They were without doubt indo-european and not turkic.
They have recently found that even the Huns were not really an ethinicity but a confederation. They found skulls that belonged to the Atilla's hunnic army but were germanic with blonde hair. Apparently a lot of tribes just joined the huns - undoubtedly the prospect of pillaging empires appealed to everybody - not just the mongols.

The protobulgarians were not small army, but in contrary, a huge and powerful, heavily armed, which defeated the Mongols, Byzantines, Latins (IV Crusade, considered invincible).


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