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Many people credit the first system of written language to the Sumerians in Mesopotamia. This may not, however, be historically accurate. It seems as though the Danube Valley Civilization created what they thought to be a written language, over 100 years earlier.
The Vinca culture dates back to 5700 BC, hundreds of years before Mesopotamia. They developed greater farming technology than had previously been maintained in the area, which led to a much larger population and very large settlements in the area. Archeologists have discovered just how large these settlements actually were and had found many of their artifacts spread all over Southeastern Europe.
Since 1875, over one hundred and fifty sites have been excavated in and around Serbia, revealing hundreds of thousands of artifacts. Among these artifacts, tablets were discovered, as well as pottery and figurines containing over 700 “Vinca” symbols, as they have most commonly been called. Composed of geometric shapes, these Vinca symbols have been discovered on many fossil figures.
Most of the symbols are carved into the base of the pottery, leading many to wonder they were marking their property or “signing” the pots. Their discovery of tablets, however, is much stronger evidence that the symbols are indeed a written language. Due to the complex nature of the symbols and the massive number of them, they are yet to be deciphered. This has caused many to doubt the idea that the Danube Valley Civilization ever meant for them to be written language.
Some of the symbols can be seen below. The symbols that have a comb type shape have been rumored to be their way of counting.
It will not be until someone cracks the code of the Danube Valley Civilization, that historians may begin to believe that it is indeed the first written language. It will not be until then that it will be acknowledged as a part of history.