An enormous Neolithic village of the Vinča tradition, creator of the oldest proto-writing in Europe, was present in Serbia | Culture | EUROtoday

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Before the looks of the Indo-Europeans in Europe, there existed a tradition that completely utilized the Pythagorean theorem a number of millennia earlier than the Greek thinker expounded the assertion. The tradition known as Vinča, one of many earliest on the continent, which unfold between 5300 and 4500 BC alongside the Danube – within the present territories of Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria – already constructed triangular homes, with roofs gabled, which reveals that its members had wonderful information of the world through which they lived. Vestiges of their presence had been lately present in an space close to the Tamiš River, in northeastern Serbia, which can present extra particulars a couple of inhabitants that will have reached simply tens of hundreds of inhabitants over eight centuries.

At the start of May, a crew of researchers from the University of Kiel introduced the invention of an historical settlement positioned close to the city of Jarkovac, within the province of Vojvodina, measuring between 11 and 13 hectares and which may have been surrounded by 4 or six pits. Intense black angular anomalies had been detected, indicating a lot of burned houses.

This is a discovery of extraordinary significance, since bigger late Neolithic settlements are hardly identified within the Serbian Banat area. “We know that they were good builders, great potters and they were well connected to nature,” explains Dragoş Diaconescu, archaeologist on the National Banat Museum in Timișoara, earlier than highlighting the big fascination aroused by this tradition, which receives the eponym of Vinča for a city that was found on the banks of the most important river in Europe, 14 kilometers from Belgrade. But it additionally stands out as a result of its protowriting has been thought-about the oldest identified up to now, earlier than cuneiform, a writing system first developed by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, between 3500 and 3000 BC.

Reconstruction of the settlement, with an area of ​​up to 13 hectares.
Reconstruction of the settlement, with an space of ​​as much as 13 hectares.Cluster ROOOTS/Museo de Vojvodina Novi Sad/Museo Nacional Zrenjanin/Museo Nacional Pančevo

The Vinča script – additionally known as the Vinča alphabet or Old European script – was found in a collection of prehistoric artifacts present in 1875 within the coronary heart of Transylvania, in present-day Romania. Since then, fragments with related pictograms have been positioned. The symbols, easy in the beginning, turned extra advanced till they culminated within the Tables of Gradeshnitsa (Bulgaria) and the Tables of Tărtăria (Romania), related testimonies of proto-writing that date again greater than 7,000 years and had been discovered within the decade of the sixties.

“There is a discussion about whether the signs actually convey an idea or are just decoration for their ceramics,” says Diaconescu, who prefers to say that the inscriptions signify “the first form of description in a world that did not know how to read.” “It is considered the first primitive form of writing, but we still have a lot to decipher,” says the skilled.

Gabled roofs

The cultures of that point had been formed by geographical proximity: areas the place varied human teams involuntarily shared frequent traits with none sort of political ties. “Neolithic communities are identifiable thanks to ceramics, since objects made of carved or polished stone, horn bone or wood have unfortunately disappeared; Ceramics, on the other hand, have sufficient quality to be classified as a cultural brand,” says Diaconescu.

Its inhabitants lived in picket and clay homes distributed in a number of rooms, with the traditional oven in the principle room supposed for cooking bread and making dark-colored ceramics. “The ceramic is characterized by a good firing, around 500 and 600 degrees, and a metallic appearance,” continues the archaeologist, who specifies that the homes didn’t have a clay roof like the ground, however relatively a gabled roof of reed or grass that allowed the smoke to go by way of and thus not suffocate those that had been inside.

German and Serbian archaeologists carry out the geophysical survey in March near the municipality of Jarkovac.
German and Serbian archaeologists perform the geophysical survey in March close to the municipality of Jarkovac.Sebastian Schultrich / ROOTS Cluster / Kiel University

The populations of the area should have had leaders in control of organizing the settlements, since there are frequent parts of society, comparable to coordinated work. They practiced agriculture primarily based on cereals and home livestock farming of sheep and goats, actions that they mixed with the gathering of fruits, fish and mollusks as a method of survival. However, one of many facets that almost all surprises archaeologists is the truth that their settlements weren’t inbuilt locations the place they may defend themselves extra simply from any enemy, however relatively the place meals was extra ample. “They were looking for areas with a lot of water that would provide diverse fauna and a variety of foods,” says Diaconescu.

Settlements in Hungary

Throughout the analysis marketing campaign in Serbia, which lasted two weeks in March, specialists additionally analyzed round parts from the Late Neolithic in Hungary. These objects, known as “rondels”, are attributed to the Lengyel tradition (5,000/4900-4500/4400 BC). The researchers, who mixed geophysical applied sciences and systematic on-foot surveys of the encircling space, had been in a position to differentiate the eras represented at every website extra clearly than earlier than. “This allowed us to re-evaluate some of the already known deposits in Hungary. For example, sites that were previously classified as Late Neolithic circular pits turned out to be much younger structures,” emphasizes crew co-leader Kata Furholt from the Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archeology on the University of Kiel.

Among essentially the most notable findings from fieldwork in Hungary was the reassessment of a settlement that was beforehand dated to the Late Neolithic and doubtless belongs to the Vučedol tradition of the Late Copper Age and Early Bronze Age (3000-2400 BC). . C.), in addition to the examine of a late Neolithic round ditch within the village of Vokány. “Southeast Europe is a very important region for answering the question of how knowledge and technologies were disseminated in the early periods of human history and how this was related to social inequalities,” remarks Martin Furholt, submit It is on this space of ​​the continent the place new applied sciences and information first appeared, comparable to metallurgy, whose peak got here in 4300 BC. c.

The Vinča tradition didn’t change into extinct, however survived in one other, extra superior society. “There is no evidence of war conflicts that led to the disappearance of the Vinča culture, but rather it was culturally transformed into another by modifying its style of making ceramic pieces, because they probably changed their occupations due to various factors, such as the change of the climate,” Diaconescu emphasizes.

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