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Dispilio Tablet

The Dispilio Tablet - the oldest known written text

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According to conventional archaeology, writing wasn’t invented until 3000 to 4000 BC in Sumeria.  However, an artefact was found over a decade ago which contradicts this belief – and perhaps this is the reason why few people know about the discovery.

The Dispilio tablet was discovered by a professor of prehistoric archaeology, George Xourmouziadis, in 1993 in a Neolithic lake settlement in Northern Greece near the city of Kastoria. A group of people used to occupy the settlement 7,000 to 8,000 years ago. The Dispilio tablet was one of many artefacts that were found in the area, however the importance of the table lies in the fact that it has an unknown written text on it that goes back further than 5,000 BC. The wooden tablet was dated using the C12 method to have been made in 5260 BC, making it significantly older than the writing system used by the Sumerians.

The text on the tablet includes a type of engraved writing which probably consists of a form of writing that pre-existed Linear B writing used by the Mycenaean Greeks. As well as the tablet, many other ceramic pieces were found that also have the same type of writing on them. Professor Xourmouziadis has suggested that this type of writing, which has not yet been deciphered, could be any form of communication including symbols representing the counting of possessions.

More artefacts were discovered that show the economic and agricultural activities of the settlement, proof of animal breeding and their diet preferences as well as tools and pottery, figurines and other personal ornaments.

Decoding the writing is going to be difficult if not impossible, unless a new Rosetta stone is found. Unfortunately, by the moment the tablet was removed out of its original environment, contact with oxygen started the deterioration process and it is now under preservation. It is impressive to think that the wooden tablet had remained at the bottom of the lake for 7,500 years.

While this artefact predates the Sumerian writing system, I am sure in the future more will be found in other areas of the world that will go even further back in time, until the true history of humanity will be unravelled and completely change what we know about our history.

By John Black

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Comments

The Tărtăria tablets are dated to around 5300 BC which would make them slightly older than the Dispilio tablet (dated 5260 BC). but, as someone pointed out up above, carbon dating, especially that long ago, is far from accurate. Also, the dates are very close and, since there has been only one example of the Dispilio tablet, there is no way to know if the writing was in use earlier than this tablet

What about the Tărtăria tablets? Through carbon dating the tablets were shown to have possibly originated as far back as 5500 BC. So, the Tărtăria tablets seems to be a little bit older than the Dispilio tablet.

On the island of Bougainvillea in Papua New Guinea recent excavation revealed stone writings in symbols. What intrigues us it that we were merely discovered 150 years ago.by white colonists and our people are who don't know writings or symbols.let alone carve out stone except wood carvings. Please.assist if you are able to.

Two things.

The writer's final remark discredits him and what he has to say earlier. How can he be sure about this?

Second, I do hope the writers of this ancient script knew when a sentence was over: "The Dispilio tablet was one of many artefacts that were found in the area, however the importance of the table lies in the fact that it has an unknown written text on it that goes back further than 5,000 BC."

Accounting.
The symbols are for accounting purposes. As soon as people stopped being hunter-getherers settled and started farming they needed logistics managements and some sort of IOU system.

All the other stuff: religion, epic stories came later. That was the oral tradition.

Discard all the moronic comments below the site attracts as many nutters whom do a dis-service to appreciation of real archaeology.

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