Approximatley How Many Languages Are Used In The U.S Today Was the Vinca Culture Writing Before the Sumerians?

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Was the Vinca Culture Writing Before the Sumerians?

Archaeologists have long presumed that cuneiform, Sumerian written language, was the oldest form of writing, existing since approximately 3,100 BCE. Tablets found in 1961 and previously presumed to be approximately 2,700 years of age are now lending proof that written language has existed for far longer than previously supposed.

The tablets are known as the Tărtăria tablets and named for the area in which they were found, Tărtăria Transylvania (Romania). There are three tablets in all, each a combination of pictograms and symbols. They were found with charred remains of a middle-age human and other items suggestive of sacrificial ritual such as alabaster figurines and potteries. The cache was from the Vinca culture which was previously thought to have existed about 2,700 years ago, but later carbon dating of the artifacts shows them to actually be from as

Far back as 4,000 BC. This age predates Sumerian cuniform, which is the previously oldest writing ever known to have existed.

The debate whether these amulets actually contain the oldest writing ever found to have existed is solely based on whether the symbols contained on them can be considered true writing or not. The symbols are standardized, arranged in linear fashion, and seem to come from an inventory of symbols that have been found on other artifacts of Danube cultures. Each seems to have one meaning. Some experts believe that some of the symbols are random and argue against the written language hypothosis. At this point of time, it can’t be stated what type of writing system the symbols represent, and the meanings of the symbols have yet to be deciphered.

Research to find whether these amulets and other artifacts containing like symbols are a key to a previously unknown written language of unparrelled age continues. Whatever the findings, we have learned that the Vinca civilization is another to add to an ever growing list of cultures being discovered to reach much further back into time than previously known.

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