I've a new book, the last one by Marija
Gimbutas, The Living Goddess. Miriam Dexter Robbins finished and edited
the book after the death of Gimbutas.
Around 5500-5000, ingriguing combinations
of signs appear in the archaeological record, contemporaneous with the
conceptual symbol script discussed above. The Starcevo-Vinca culture manifested
the most examples, but other Old European cultures also employed them. Some
thirty abstract signs build a core set. It is important to observe that these
signs indeed represent writing; instead of individual or random occurence in
pottery panels, the script signs appear in rows or clusters with several
different signs following one another ....
Abstract, not pictoral, signs comprised
the script. Linearity characterizes and organizes Old European writing, a trait
it share with the Minoan Linear A, Cypriot-Minoan, and Cipriot Syllabic scripts,
all scripts of the pre-classical world. All of these examples use similar
diacritical techniques, such as strokes or dots to midify a basic sign. Old
European script is not "prewriting" as conceived by Shan M. Winn (1981). It
represents a true writing system ....
I've heard say of such script before, but
didn't know what to think of it; none of the sources I read about it were
particularly impressive. With Gimbutas saying there is such a thing, well, then
there really is such a think.
I was taught that writing more or
less simultaneously developed in Egypt and southern Mesoptamia ca 3200-3000 BCE,
with perhaps one influencing the other as regards the 'idea'.
I have to revise my world view again, and
move the 'invention' of writing back to at least 5500 BCE. Interesting date,
that, 5500; co-eval with the Black Sea Flood; was writing invented on the shores
of the Euxine Lake? Gimbutas died in 1994; this antedates the 'discovery' of the
Black Sea flood.
I've not finished the book, but I do
gather that the so-called Balkan-Danubian complex was rather refined for its
I'm sure there will be more postings about
my responses to this book. Not having even finished it, I nonetheless recommend