- The [Proto] Indo-Europeans of Old Europe: A Compendium
Lepenski Vir & Vinča Culture:
Approximately 8,500 years ago, during the Neolithic Era, Neolithic, Starčevo, and Vinča cultures existed in or near modern-day Belgrade and dominated the Balkans, (as well as parts of Central Europe and Asia Minor). Two important local archeological sites from this era, Lepenski Vir and Vinča-Belo Brdo, still exist near the banks of the Danube.
The Vinca culture is part of the common cultural heritage of modern civilization:
Before the glory that was Greece and Rome, even before the first cities of Mesopotamia or temples along the Nile, there lived in the Lower Danube Valley and the Balkan foothills people who were ahead of their time in art, technology and long-distance trade.
At its peak, around 4500 B.C., said David W. Anthony, “Old Europe was among the most sophisticated and technologically advanced places in the world” and was developing “many of the political, technological and ideological signs of civilization.” At the exhibition preview, Roger S. Bagnall, director of the institute, confessed that until now “a great many archaeologists had not heard of these Old Europe cultures.” Admiring the colorful ceramics, Dr. Bagnall, a specialist in Egyptian archaeology, remarked that at the time “Egyptians were certainly not making pottery like this.”
The horse, the wheel, and language: how Bronze Age riders from the Eurasian steppes shaped the modern world:
Roughly half the world’s population speaks languages derived from a shared linguistic source known as Proto-Indo-European. But who were the early speakers of this ancient mother tongue, and how did they manage to spread it around the globe? Until now their identity has remained a tantalizing mystery to linguists, archaeologists, and even Nazis seeking the roots of the Aryan race. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language lifts the veil that has long shrouded these original Indo-European speakers, and reveals how their domestication of horses and use of the wheel spread language and transformed civilization.
Science has no dilemma that the Neolithic Age had its highest achievements in the culture of Vinča. That is where the mysterious “Neolithic revolution” took place. The discovery of Vinča dramatically changed the entire view on prehistoric man and revealed the superficial arrogance of modern barbarians. The culture of Vinča is the key witness in the development of European civilization and important factor for defining the identity of Europe. Archeological artifacts at the Belo Brdo site, in about ten metres of layers of earth, testify about the deposited 7,500 years of continuous living: Neolithic Age, Copper Age, Bronze, Iron, Roman, early Slavic, early Christian, contemporary.
Old European (Vinča/Danube) Script:
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.
The Tărtăria tablets are three tablets, discovered in 1961 by archaeologist Nicolae Vlassa at a Neolithic site in the village of Tărtăria in Romania.The tablets, dated to around 5300 BC, bear incised symbols - the Vinča symbols - and have been the subject of considerable controversy among archaeologists.
Mathematical Architecture (images above), Lepenski Vir, Serbia, 6500 B.C:
All the houses share a very distinct shape, built according to a complicated geometric pattern. The basis of each of the houses is a circle segment of exactly 60 degrees, constructed in the manner of an equilateral triangle. This unique layout demonstrates the level of mathematical and geometric knowledge of the inhabitants of Lepenski Vir. The peculiar choice of the equilateral triangle as a basis instead of the more common round or rectangular form suggests the significance of numbers in the lives of the settlement’s inhabitants.
The builders of Lepenski Vir possessed a quite definite mathematical knowledge which they employed skilfully in measuring the terrain and fixing the proportions, shapes and dimensions of the houses. The foundations were laid out on a system of triangulation. It always began with the fixing of the opening in the front of the house and the dimension thus obtained was applied to the sides which meet at the rear of the house. In this way a regular isosceles triangle was obtained:
On the origins of extractive metallurgy: new evidence from Europe:
This ancient settlement contains the oldest securely dated evidence of copper making, from 7,000 years ago, and suggests that copper smelting may been invented in separate parts of Asia and Europe at that time rather than spreading from a single source. His proposal challenges a long standing view that copper smelting spread to Europe after originating in or near the Fertile Crescent region of what’s now southern Iran. Archaeologists have dated copper smelting in the Middle East to about 6,500 years ago. Radiocarbon dates for animal bones excavated at Belovode indicate that the site was occupied from 7,350 to 6,650 years ago.Jewelry and other Belovode finds come from southeastern Europe’s ancient Vinča culture, known for having used copper vessels and other metal items.
Full Study: http://www.academia.edu/1957412/On_the_origins_of_extractive_metallurgy_new_evidence_from_Europe_Radivojevic_et_al_2010_JAS_37_
The Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture, Neolithic–Eneolithic archaeological culture in Eastern Europe:
7,000 years ago, Neolithic optical art flourished. The exhibition, “Cucuteni-Trypillia: A Great Civilization of Old Europe,” introduces a mysterious Neolithic people who are now believed to have forged Europe’s first civilization. Before their culture mysteriously faded, the Cucuteni-Trypillians had organized into large settlements. Predating the Sumerians and Egyptian settlements, these were basically proto-cities with buildings often arranged in concentric circles.
The Vinca & Cucuteni-Tryptillian cultures were responsible for
some of the first major population booms in Europe, major cities (many with up to 15,000 inhabitants) include Talianki, the Trypillian settlement in Ukraine. Dobrovody, Ukraine, Maydanets, Ukraine, and Nebelivka, Ukraine.
The Lost World Of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000 - 3500BC
In 4500 BC, before the invention of writing and before the first cities of Mesopotamia and Egypt were established, Old Europe was among the most sophisticated and technologically advanced regions in the world. The phrase “Old Europe” refers to a cycle of related cultures that thrived in southeastern Europe during the fifth and fourth millennia BC. The heart of Old Europe was centered in the Danube River’s fertile valleys, where agriculturally rich plains were exploited by Neolithic farmers who founded long-lasting settlements—some of which grew to substantial size, with populations reaching upward of 10,000 people. Today, the intriguing and enigmatic remains of these highly developed cultures can be found at sites that extend from modern-day Serbia to Ukraine.