Civilization is a stage in the development of society characterized by the presence of cities and writing systems. However, not every society with agriculture and pastoralism is a civilization. The first civilization in Southeastern Europe emerged one and a half to two thousand years earlier than civilizations in Asia. It was the Vinca culture, which flourished from about 5500 to 4000 B.C.
The oldest writings in the world were thought to be Egyptian and Sumerian. In the middle of the twentieth century, however, archaeologists began excavating the Vinca archaeological culture on the Balkan Peninsula and in the Danube region. In 1961, they found clay tablets with strange symbols cut into them near the village of Terteria in Romania. Radiocarbon analysis showed that they are about 7500 years old. Later objects with similar signs were found in other settlements of Vinca culture in Northern Greece (Dispilio), Bulgaria (Gradeshnitsa), Serbia and other neighboring countries.
Vinca culture was the first culture in Europe, where in addition to farming, the people were engaged in the processing of metals. Metallurgy emerged here no later than in the Middle Eastern centers of civilization and clearly independent of them. However, the interpretation of the signs of the Vinca culture is still debatable. It is not clear what they are, so it is not yet possible to decipher them.
Some researchers insist that the Vinca signs are not just writing, but syllabic writing. Others claim that the Wincz signs are pictographs – conventional symbols. Still others believe that they are the simplest mnemonic records, which have no meaning outside the specific situation when and for what they were written down.
In any case, it is still impossible to read the Winch signs, because the language of their creators is unknown, and there are no parallel records (bilinguals) of the same texts in any known language. In fact, only the bilingual method was able to read the Egyptian hieroglyphs and the Sumerian cuneiform.
History of the Origin of the Winch Culture
Vinca culture flourished on the territory of modern Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia and Greece. Its name comes from the name of the village Vinča, located in the south of Serbia. This culture was discovered in 1908 by archaeologist Milan Mihajlovic.
Initially, the Vinča culture was attributed to the Balkan group of Neolithic cultures. Later, however, it turned out that the Vinca culture was more advanced than the other Neolithic cultures. It was the first metal-working culture in Europe. In addition, traces of urban life were found here.
The Vinca culture was characterized not only by metallurgy and urban life, but also by advanced ceramics. Vinca pottery was characterized by a special style, which was a deep carving and white glazed coating.
The Significance of the Winch Culture for History
The Winch culture is of great importance to history. It is the first civilization on earth, preceding the civilizations of the Ancient Asia. It was also the first in Europe to engage in metalworking.
The Winch culture is also important for the study of writing. The Vinca signs have not yet been deciphered, but they are the oldest writings in the world. Their study can help scholars better understand the origins of writing and its development.
The Vinca culture researcher Aleksandar Deroko believes that Vinca signs are syllabic writing. He thinks that Vinca signs might have been used to record religious texts or for commercial purposes.
Archaeologist Maria Gimbutas argues that Vinca culture was matriarchal. She believes that women played an important role in Winch society and were involved not only in household chores, but also in the management of cities.
There remains another question – the strange statuettes depicting either a reptiloid race or aliens from outer space, but scientists are trying not to focus on this issue and prefer the standard “ritualistic”, “mythical”, etc. “deities”.