Ceramic piece from Early Neolithic found in Romania could prove existence of writing 8,000 years ago

A ceramic piece with unknown symbols, which could prove the existence of writing during the early neolithic period, was discovered by archaeologists on the future track of the Sibiu – Orastie highway, north of Miercurea Sibiului in Central Romania. The piece of ceramic was found in a complex of houses dated at before 6000 BC.

The fragment could prove writing systems existed during that period, and it would be the only known fragment from that time with such symbols, according to Sabin Luca, director of the Brukental Museum in Sibiu. “I am shaken. I have organized countless symposiums, published many books about symbols, signs, trying to fight the idea that writing systems existed back then. I always said that communication systems do not mean writing, but symbols. I don’t know what to say about this (the ceramic piece, e.n.), it is something set in order, with variable symbols, but you can tell it is not an ornament. When it goes out to the international scene it will cause a storm,” said the Brukental Museum director.

The housing complex was found in the archaeological site called Miercurea Sibiului 2, north of Miercurea Sibiului, and proves the existence of a neolithic settlement created following migration. “We had the opportunity to find another site, of a community which came from the region of Macedonia. This is a great scientific discovery,” said Sabin Luca.

Types of proto-writing  have been found dating from the neolithic period in Eastern Europe, the Near East and Egypt and are of a similar age to the ceramic piece found at Miercurea Sibiului 2 site. Sumerian cuneiform, found in roughly the area of modern Iraq, is recognized as one of the earliest forms of true writing, appearing around 3,000 BC. However, it developed seamlessly from proto-writing and it is difficult to fix an exact date for the transition. Whatever the ceramic found at the site proves to be, it will be significant, given its great age.

So far, 29 archaeological sites from the Early Neolithic, the first Iron Age and the Early Middle Ages have been found at Miercurea Sibiului 2.

The recent discoveries show that the communities had the new neolithic technology and different social systems from the hunters and fishermen who previously occupied this place, and colonized it, firstly the Oltenia region, then part of Banat and the western part of Transylvania, Sabin Luca explained.

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photo source: National Museum of History on Facebook



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