View Full Version : The Vinča Script of Southeast Europe: Earliest Form of Writing (5000-6000 BC)

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005, 08:33 PM

These symbols have been found on many of the artefacts excavated from sites in south-east Europe, in particular from Vinča near Belgrade, but also in Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, eastern Hungary, Moldova, southern Ukraine and the former Yugoslavia. The artefacts date from between the 7th and 4th millennia BC and those decorated with these symbols are between 8,000 and 6,500 years old.

Some scholars believe that the Vinča symbols represent the earliest form of writing ever found, predating ancient Egyptian and Sumerian writing by thousands of years. Since the inscriptions are all short and appear on objects found in burial sites, and the language represented is not known, it is highly unlikely they will ever be deciphered.

Symbols dating from the oldest period of Vinča culture (6th-5th millennia BC)

Common symbols used throughout the Vinča period

Other Vinča symbols

Font created by Sorin Paliga (sorin_paliga@mac.com) of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Bucharest, Romania

Thursday, February 17th, 2005, 06:35 PM
Do you all suppose that 'European civilization' began in the Balkans?

Eiserner Adler
Thursday, February 17th, 2005, 07:35 PM
Do you all suppose that 'European civilization' began in the Balkans?

Depends on the definition of civilization. Certainly there were non IE's all over Europe immediatly following the last ice age and even a few during it. The Indo-European homeland is around the Black Sea (more than likely alot of it was flooded by the Sea during the melting period) including the Balkan area where these artifacts were found. I had no idea that there were European runes that old other than just a few symbols like the hackenkreuz, or that the runes were devoloped that far south before the northward migration of IE's. A pretty cool finding. It is not likely to be a 'language' at all. Even though proto-Indo-European was in existance at the time, those types of runes are glyphs, they don't really have syntax or conjuctions like a sentance, just symbols for nouns and verbs mostly. Unless I am mistaken though, the original pre-Romantic influence Gothic alphabet of several millenia later was much more similar to a true phonetic alphabet. It would be cool to abondon the Punic-Phonecian based Roman and Cyrilic alphabets one day and revert to one which is of entirely European origin.

Saturday, February 19th, 2005, 12:37 AM
Depends on the definition of civilization

Civilization as in an advanced state of intellectual, cultural, and material development in human society, marked by progress in the arts and sciences, the use of writing, and the appearance of political and social institutions.Once again, is the Lower Danube(Balkans) the cradle of European civilization? http://donsmaps.com/lepenski.html

The finds, unique in the Neolithic culture of south-east Europe, show that the first farmers of the Danubian valley belonged to a peculiar anthropological type, characterised by features of the ancient European population combined with those of graceous Mediterranean people. The same blend of old Balkanic, autochthonous elements and Mediterranean are observed in the Starcevo culture, namely in the first Vinca inhabitants.


The Karanovo 'stamp seal' bear a remarkable resemblance to the constellations which make up the western zodiac, in a somewhat sequential order, and may very well be the earliest attempt to map the heavens yet discovered.

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007, 08:37 AM
I have been studying Vinca writing for quite awhile. It is fascinating stuff. It is an "undeciphered" script found in the area north of the Black Sea that is definitely related to the Danube script. Dating on artifacts containing Vinca script are between 6500-8000 years old. This pre-dates the most ancient hieroglyphs and cuneiform writing!

The writing for years has been discounted as simple decoration of "religious" nature. I had a theory that since it is found on jars, the writing was a kind of "canning label." Unlike the Egypto-Mesopotamian macro-culture, the ancient European culture had to deal with long cold winters. This necessitated storing food for the winter. You needed to know if a pot contained salt fish or dried plums. If you were trading them with others, you would need to put some kind of measure on the jar as well.

It turns out my little theory might be more valid than I realized. Most of the pottery shards have been found on what have been determined to be "trade routes" and the script at the base of the pottery may be numbers, (weight or quantity of a product) while the script in the middle and at the top of the pots are more descriptive.

While many may think my theory is a little too mundane, most of the Sumerians that used cuneiform were ancient accountants keeping track of supplies and shipping.

It appears that commerce is the true cradle of civilization...

Anyway here's the link on Vinca writing on Omniglot.


I am going to evaluate Vinca script against Runes, Ogham, Rovas and other ancient northern European script for possible correspondences. I'll try to keep you posted on what I find.