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The Old European Script. Further evidence


by Shan M. M. Winn

In(1)recent decades interest has been renewed in incised script-like signs [now referred to as the "Old
European (OE) script"] found on artifacts dating to the middle Neolithic Vinča-Tordos culture of Yugoslavia and
western Romania. Although evidence of these signs had been known since the late 19th century excavation at the site of
Tordos (Turdaş) (2) in Transylvania, it was the discovery of tablets at the nearby site of Tartaria in1964 that kindled a
wave of controversy regarding both the origin and chronology of the signs.
The claims of certain scholars that the signs were influenced by early Mesopotamian script (c. 3000 B.C.) not
only disregarded the possibility of independent European innovation in sign usage but also presented the supposed
Mesopotamian origin of the signs as a refutation of the new and radically altered Neolithic chronology, based on
radiocarbon dating, for southeastern Europe. However, while archaeologists have continued to clarify and substantiate
the new chronology (e.g. Renfrew 1973), the issue of the signs has been side-stepped in most analyses dealing with the
middle and late Neolithic cultures of southeastern Europe.
The author's participation on excavations in former Yugoslavia and his interest in the signs eventually resulted
in the opportunity to visit excavations and to study museum collections in Romania, former Yugoslavia and Bulgaria.
Signs were collected from approximately 50 sites belonging or related to the Vinča culture, named after the important
site of Vinča (see map, Fig.1) on the Danube River, near Belgrade. The earliest use of signs, dating to the Vinča-Tordos
phase of this culture, is best evidenced at the site of Tordos in Transylvania.
The purpose of the present article is to introduce and evaluate new evidence for the sign system and to appraise
the consistency of the evidence with the conclusions reached earlier by the author in his published study of the signs
(Winn 1981).(3) Therefore, the conclusions reached in the previous study are only briefly reviewed herein.

Figure 1. Partial distribution of sites having evidence of sign usage

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SIGN USAGE

Signs are incised on pottery, spindle whorls, figurines and other clay artifacts. The signs are
not components of ornamental motifs, although a few examples are abstractions from
decorative prototypes. A sign may occur as a single, isolated sign on an otherwise unmarked
area, or as a component of a sign group. This study includes correlations of sign usage
according to context - pottery, figurines, spindle whorls, miniature vessels, "tablets" and
artifacts of undefined use.

Single signs.

Signs found in isolation frequently appear on pottery and occasionally on figurines, but rarely
on spindle whorls. Signs on pottery were analyzed according to their location on the vessel:
(a) rim/upper body; (b) side near base; and (c) base.

Certain signs, including

are inscribed anywhere on the vessel; they are also found in sign groups and, indeed, later
appear as script signs in the Mediterranean. Pictographic signs and symbolic elements are
generally located on highly visible portions of the vessel:

At Tordos, pictographs, or abstractions from them, are common; they are occasionally placed
on the base, perhaps as information or to facilitate sign recognition on vessels that were
inverted when stored. A few signs seem to be restricted to the lower side of vessels, where
they are not readily visible unless one intentionally observes the basal angle of the vessel. At
certain sites, such as Medvednjak and Banjica, many of these are unique signs and may
identify the owner or producer:

Signs suggesting the utilization of a numbering system appear on the base or on the lower side
adjacent to the base:

Many of the Tordos signs restricted to the base are distinctive; such signs frequently are
thought to denote identification of contents, provenience/destination or manufacturer/owner.
However, basal signs are frequently zoomorphic representations,

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comb or brush patterns

and symbols.

A specialized category confined to the base is a type of filled cross

,which is generally divided into symmetrically arranged quadrants. A similar arrangement is


often found on stamp seals or artifacts considered to have cultic usages. Certain signs are
randomly placed on pottery but are excluded from the base. Most of these

appear commonly on figurines and may refer to a different sign subset dependent on other
contexts.
Particularly common representations on figurines are triple chevrons, 6 chevrons or 6 parallel
lines; such arrangements probably reflect an ideological feature of the Vinča cultural
template. Distinctive figurine signs

found at several sites perhaps may signify specific concepts, personal identifications, or even
an attempt to acquire magico-religious powers during rituals associated with specific figurine
usage. Similar signs are also found on spindle whorls and are sometimes randomly placed on
pottery. In short, the distribution of single signs contradicts the notion that the Vinča signs are
merely owner's or maker's marks.

Sign groups.

Sign groups occur principally on spindle whorls and to a lesser extent on pottery, but a small
number of tablet-like objects and figurines are marked with groups of signs. Sign groups on
pottery usually consist of only two signs, though there is ample space for more; in contrast,
numerous signs are incised on whorls, despite the limited available space. Neither the order
nor the direction of the signs in these groups is readily determinable; moreover, judging by
the frequent lack of arrangement, precision in the order probably was unimportant. Miniature
vessels also possess sign-like clusters which are disarranged, but concepts or mnemonic aids
most likely were inferred or interpreted by an individual familiar with the culture-specific
content of the signs. The range of signs on whorls and tablets is more extensive and generally
consists of signs commonly found in groups. Figurine signs are limited in variety but are

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prominently displayed and are more distinctive than the elemental signs on vessels. A few
signs found on figurines are also observed on spindle whorls and tablet-like objects, e. g.

Some whorls and loom weights are incised with a single distinctive sign. Others are incised
with combinations of parallel and perpendicular lines that may be magical marks or may
symbolize the intent to successfully spin or weave into fruition one's desires - whether that be
a material object, a wish or simply good luck.
Other whorls suggest a complex, deliberate marking which is more in line with signs incised
in the more arranged format typical of tablets and seals.

Figure 2. Spindle whorls: a, b, c (Tordos); d (Fafos) figurines: e, f (Jela); g (Selevac); h (Medvednjak)

RECENT EVIDENCE AND SCRIPT SIGNS

The distribution of signs

During the summer of 1981 the author had the opportunity to collect more than 100 additional
examples of incised artifacts from the sites of Tordos and Parţa (4) (see Figs. 5-11).The new
data continues to show remarkable consistency with previous observations pertaining to
distribution of signs as well as sign usage at widely separated sites (Table I).Many common
signs appearing on pottery as well as on spindle whorls and figurines were employed both as
single signs and as components of sign groups (Table I, column B). The new evidence
supports this distribution in sign usage. Certain signs, primarily found on spindle whorls and
figurines, have been observed only in the context of sign clusters (column D).A class of
widely used signs has been found only on pottery, except for occurrences on the Tartaria

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tablets and the Lepenski Vir stone. The new evidence supports the pottery associations of
these signs (column C).Thus, different subsets within the sign system may be postulated:

1. signs that are generally important in a group context are significantly associated with
usage on spindle whorls, tablets and figurines;
2. commonly used single signs are found almost exclusively on pottery;
3. signs on spindle whorls, figurines and in unrestricted use on pottery are found singly
or as components of sign groups.

The latter signs are characteristic script signs and many of them occur on the Tartaria tablets
and the Lepenski Vir stone.

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Figure 3. Examples of new evidence pertaining to Parţa and Tordos (Turdaş)

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The Tartaria tablets and the Lepenski Vir stone

The Tartaria tablets (Fig. 4a,b) initially received a great deal of attention due to a few posited
Mesopotamian parallels (chronologically later). However, the Tartaria signs have more
precise parallels in shape and usage with signs at other sites of the Vinča culture (Winn 1981:
185-195). In addition, certain signs on the Tartaria artifacts are found elsewhere in the Vinča
culture but not in Mesopotamia. Therefore, no Mesopotamian impact need be postulated at
Tartaria. The discovery of artifacts with greater attention devoted to division of sign groups
makes the shape and careful organization of the tablets seem less incongruous within the
context of the Vinča culture (Winn 1981:210 ff.). For example, a plaque found at Gradešnica,
in northwestern Bulgaria, is carefully divided by horizontal lines into four registers with three
or more signs in each register (Fig. 4f). The double and triple vertical lines recall similar
incisions on the Tartaria tablets, the Lepenski Vir stone and many Vinča figurines.

Even "blank" tablets (Fig. 4g) display an intentional division which can be considered
evidence for a cultural trait for organizing tablet-like objects. The unusual inscribed stone
object found at Lepenski Vir is introduced here for comparative purposes. The spherical stone
has a complex organization and neatly incised signs typical of the Vinča culture. Partial
boring of the stone suggests that a staff was inserted so that the stone could be displayed as an
object of prestige or easily manipulated in ritual. The inscription is divided into four rows,
three of which have ten columns (Fig. 4c-e). Irregular demarcating lines indicate intentional
efforts to avoid crossing over signs, thus enhancing their importance. The possible functions
of this unique object include usage in divination or for keeping records relating to important
cyclical events. The signs show convincing comparisons with common Vinča signs at other
sites. (5) The Tartaria tablets and the Lepenski Vir stone are included in Table I (column A)
as further evidence showing that sign distributions are not random and that the signs on these
objects appropriately fit within the sign system of the Vinča culture. Each of these objects is
inscribed with a cluster of signs that appear in sign groups on artifacts found at distant
regional sites. The additional Parţa and Tordos evidence presented herein is consistent with
conclusions reached in the author's earlier work. The "blank" tablets are probably meaningful
ritualistic substitutes for the inscribed type that may have been used by someone familiar with
the tablets but perhaps not yet with the signs; they even may have been used as a sort of
training ritual. "The Lepenski Vir object may have been modeled after a type of sign-bearing
spindle whorl, a weight, or a mace head used by someone of importance, probably in
divination.

This artifact seems to indicate that some signs were headings or markers; deliberate effort was
made to demarcating the rows and columns without crossing over the signs, thereby
suggesting their magical importance. Intentional inclusion of spaces/insertion of blanks may
indicate a pause/message divider, etc." (Winn 1990:272-3; for greater detail, see Winn 1981:
258-63). (6)

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Figure 4. (a,b) Tartaria (Vlassa 1963); (c) Lepenski Vir (Winn 1981); (d,e) actual and
regularized composition on the stone; (f) Gradešnica (Nikolov 1970); (g) Tangiru (Berciu, 1961)

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SUMMARY OF THE SIGN SYSTEM

A complex and standardized pattern of communication

The consistent use of a set of signs in a similar manner suggests purposeful distinctions in
sign usage and implies that they represent cultural conventions shared by widely separated
communities. Signs from the site of Parţa as well as those collected from Torma's manuscript
of Tordos show that observations made in Winn 1973 apply to new finds as well: earlier
observations of sign usage are pertinent and consistent. This standardized pattern of
communication was composed of several elements:

1. simple markings on pots, likely representing ritual marking or magic;


2. distinctive marks on or near the base of pottery vessels, possibly reflecting (a)
economic aspects - indicating the number of pots produced - or (b) a form of
identification, such as the owner/producer, or (c) they may identify "powers" called
upon during a ritual;
3. several common motifs or symbols, some of which may be schematizations or
abstractions from decorative motifs;
4. a limited number of pictographs, too few to establish a system based on natural
representations;
5. signs that may represent concepts (i.e. ideograms), which frequently occur in sign
groups.

Three subsets of signs in the system

Although many common signs occur both as single signs and as components of sign groups,
some distinctive signs - e.g., complex or modified signs, pictographs and ideograms - are not
used in conjunction with other.

In addition, certain ancient and enduring symbols, such as the swastika and the Maltese cross
are found in isolation. In contrast, simple-shaped signs that are found in developed scripts are
correlated with sign clusters.

There are three subsets of signs in the system:

1. signs generally found in a group context, with a significant association with tablets,
spindle whorls and figurines;
2. common single signs located principally on pottery, with some types (e.g. pictographs)
limited to certain areas on pottery;
3. basic signs - appearing both as single signs and in sign groups - on pottery, figurines
and spindle whorls.

Many of those found in sign groups are evidenced in later scripts. The Tartaria tablets and the
Lepenski Vir spherical stone not only are appropriate objects for inscriptions, but they bear
signs frequently found in scripts. Differences in complexity of sign usage are revealed by the
ordering of signs, as seen on tablets and similar objects.

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Figure 5. Artifacts from Parţa excavation

Clay spindle whorls were the medium for recording strings of signs; objects having signs with
an unclear or disordered arrangement, such as the jumbled signs on miniature vessels,
probably have ritualistic uses.
Some ritual objects, however, have orderly abstract signs, such as the Tartaria tablets, which
were placed in a grave (Winn 1990:274-76).

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Figure 6. Signs on Parţa pottery

Limited evidence for sign usage in economic contexts

Metallurgy and other specialized crafts in the Neolithic of southeastern Europe are indicators
of an increasing techno-economic development that, aided by the strategic location of Tordos
near the sources of gold and copper, promoted extensive trading networks that could have
facilitated the emergence of a system of record-keeping. However, the Tordos signs provide
only limited evidence for sign usage in economic contexts.

Many probable numerical signs, as stated above, appear on the base or adjacent to the base.
Although these signs could represent a system of numbering or quantification used during
their production (since incision generally took place before firing), no system is at present
ascertainable. (7).

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Dots and lines are generally mutually exclusive but in at least one case dots are combined
with a line (Fig. 10, end of 4th row). Possibly related to these numerical indicators are certain
ligatures occurring on or near the base.

Three signs

appearing on the tablets (two on the Lepenski Vir stone object) may have numerical
connotations, judging by their frequent appearance in the same environment (on or near the
base of pots) as other probable numerical signs.
The first sign

belongs to the same category as several signs appearing only on or adjacent to pottery bases.
The second

while it appears in sign groups (and is, indeed, a common sign of scripts elsewhere) is found
only on or near the base of pottery, except for the Tartaria example.
The third sign

appears frequently in conjunction with vessel bases, but it also is quite common on spindle
whorls and occurs on figurines as well; thus, it may be a numerical indicator or have other
meaning, depending on the context. Well-executed unique signs on Tordos pottery (lower
vessel or base) could relate to the economics of ownership or production, and prominently
displayed pictographs could function as symbols or serve to identify place names.
Nevertheless, indisputable evidence for an important economic role for sign usage is lacking.
The investigation of signs from sites other than Tordos makes even more tenuous their
possible economic role. Signs on pottery are too varied to identify contents or destination of
vessels, and even those few signs that may be numerical in nature are often less precise than
those at Tordos.
The jumbled signs on spindle whorls would not contribute to an efficient accounting system,
and the recurrent use of indistinct signs at many sites probably renders them useless for
individual identifications.
Little effort appears to have been given to possible numerical marks found at various sites,
e.g., Parţa ; in fact, careless techniques and haphazard demarcation are more characteristic of
ritualistic marking.
Indeed, as the diffusion of sign usage proceeded, any original economic associations of the
signs may have been weakened by their increasing role in religious ideology, with which they
eventually were probably identified during the later phases of the Vinča culture, at least.
"Even if there was an economic motivation for the introduction of sign usage at Tordos,
which has produced the best examples of signs that might represent economic functions, other
sites such as Jela in the west and Divostin in the southern periphery of the Vinča culture have
far less clear examples for an economic interpretation. Many possible numerical marks found
at scattered sites reveal a careless technique and poor demarcation that probably reflects
ritualistic marking" (Winn, 1990:276-7).

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Figure 7. Parţa signs/symbols on pot bases

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Religious use of the signs

Evidence for ritualistic use of signs is well represented throughout the Vinča-Tordos and later
Vinča cultural sequence.

The prominent use of signs, including those abstracted from symbolic motifs, on cultic
objects implies an association of signs with religion and the belief system.

Signs, as expressions of the world view, represent a significant set of information about daily
or cyclical affairs.

Signs on figurines, which likely were regularly prepared for household magico-religious
ceremonies (as suggested by the frequency of figurines in excavated houses), are among these
expressions. In the context of a ritual, a sign incised on the figurine may be expressive of a
desire, request, vow, etc.

After completion of the ceremony the figurine need have no further significance and can be
discarded; this is a probable explanation for the abundance of figurine fragments recovered
from the excavation of pits and other refuse areas.

Typical meander-like incisions are found on figurines and also appear in conjunction with
organized signs on cult objects.

"The vast majority of figurines are female, as are virtually all figurines bearing signs.
Figurines are frequently found in houses, and have been noted in clusters around benches and
other architectural features sometimes interpreted as 'shrines'. These figurines are thought by
some scholars to represent votive offerings" (Winn, 1990:277).

The Tartaria tablets have ritualistic associations in that they were placed in a burial pit
together with the charred bones of an individual.

Lengthy sign groups on miniature vessels may reflect ritualistic or magical formulae; indeed,
the notable correlation of these rather haphazard sign clusters with miniature vessels and
figurines strongly suggests their usage in ceremonial contexts.

Religious or ideological considerations offer, so far, the best explanation for the use of signs
in the Vinča culture.

"It is intriguing that the signs are already differentiated according to artifact context during the
earliest period of sign use at Tordos.
S
ingle distinctive signs occurring particularly on vessel bases contrast with the presence of
complex sign groups on spindle whorls, and signs on figurines are also distinguished.

The distinction between signs on pottery and the more organized signs on tablets and other
artifacts may signify functional differences or different levels of usage and formality. Success
attainable solely through an individual's own careful efforts (pottery manufacture, spinning)
may require only simple magical notations; however, individuals facing more serious life
events (birth, illness or death) may seek the services of a religious practitioner (shaman or
priest)" (Winn, 1990:277).

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Figure 8. Tordos (Turdaş) artifacts from Zsófia Torma notebook

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Lack of development of the signs and system

The static nature of the signs may reflect a persistent world view and belief system that
endured for centuries. Lack of change or development in the system simply indicates that a
pervasive ideology, adequately expressed by the signs and symbols, necessitated little or no
further evolution.

"Equally enigmatic is the fact that, notwithstanding these early distinctions in sign usage,
scarcely any evolution in signs or sign usage ever took place, although the signs are a
principle feature of the Vinča culture.

At later settlements (Vinča C-D period) a few new signs, especially ligatures, were
introduced, but many of these are limited to specific regional sites. Otherwise, signs at
Tordos, (except for the later disappearance of swastikas and whorls) are consistent with those
of the Vinča culture....

The lack of change or development in the system may simply indicate that an established
ideology, adequately expressed by signs and symbols, does not necessitate further evolution.

The Vinča sign system probably had no need to develop further because it primarily served
temporary or cyclical ritual needs of traditional horticultural societies not yet undergoing
political or economic pressure to institute changes in sign usage.
The thousands of excavated figurines impressively demonstrate the cardinal role of domestic
ritual in Vinča society; thus it is significant that the near abandonment of figurine
manufacture at the close of the Neolithic is accompanied by the discontinuance of signs on
pottery and spindle whorls.

The decline of such prominent ritual items and associated symbolism in the fourth millennium
signals an important transformation in ideology as well as in subsistence patterns and social
structure characterizing the early Bronze Age" (Winn 1990:278).

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Figure 9. Tordos (Torma notebook)

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ORIGIN OF THE SIGNS

Decoration and symbolism

Clear antecedents for the Vinča sign system, which apparently emerged suddenly can not as
yet be linked to the long heritage of pre-Neolithic ritual marking. (8)

Engraved bands on stone objects at Vlasac and Lepenski Vir, in the Iron Gates region of the
Danube River, precede and resemble the early Neolithic register pattern of decoration, and the
disorganized linear incisions on pottery of the Neolithic Starčevo culture may reflect an old
tradition whose cultural content has been lost.

But, in any case, Upper Paleolithic symbolism was integrated into a world view that was
fundamentally altered during the development of a food-producing economy. (Note, however,
that Foster (1984) observes continuity of the Paleolithic signs (as set forth by Leroi-Gourhan)
for female

and male

in early alphabetic and hieroglyphic depictions for the phonemes "w" and "y".
It will be noted that these signs are significant in the Vinča sign system and occur frequently
on the Lepenski Vir stone).

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Figure 10. Tordos (Torma notebook)

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Economic and religious stimuli

The growth of permanent settlements dependent on the cultivation of crops not only sowed
the seeds of incipient social stratification but also resulted in significant elaboration of
religious ideology.

It is probable that eventual techno-economic developments at sites like Tordos and Vinča laid
the foundation for craft specialization as well as for a formalized religious structure.

Innovations in technology during the Vinča-Tordos period represented by metallurgy and


stimulated by exploitation of economic resources in the area, spurred the growth of trading
networks that enhanced the potential to augment personal prestige and wealth.

While such economic stimuli conceivably was the basis for the introduction of sign usage at
Tordos, it can be inferred from the increasing social complexity throughout the Vinča culture
that the status of religious functionaries was enhanced.
In effect, even if the original use of signs at Tordos was fostered by both economic and ritual
roles, the signs must have become increasingly associated with ritual and ideology/world
view and eventually were identified as components of the belief system in numerous sites of
the Vinča culture.

The fifth millennium Neolithic village of Banpo, near Xian, China, has yielded pottery vessels
incised with signs having striking parallels with the Vinča signs. The 22 different types of
rectilinear marks, including

are also common Vinča-Tordos signs. Chinese scholars suggest that the signs were used for
recording events or quantities and can be considered "precursors of writing".

The seemingly impressive correspondence between the Vinča-Tordos and Banpo signs does
not imply diffusion of signs or sign usage; rather, it is probable that a limited range of
elementary signs would be independently innovated by societies having a cultural role for
sign usage. Similar signs have been noted in pre-dynastic Egypt, and in Linear A and other
Mediterranean scripts (Winn 1981:246ff; 1990:280).

Pontius (1984a,b), using the Banpo evidence, has introduced an interesting hypothesis linking
accurate pictorial representations of the human face with literacy skills.

In view of the relevance of this theory to the Vinča-Tordos figurines, a study of figurines
from various settlements is of interest; in fact, a brief investigation by the author suggests that
certain Tordos figurines provide evidence of incipient literacy, according to the Pontius
hypothesis. However, this question is beyond the scope of the present study.

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Figure 11. Tordos (Torma notebook)

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Notes

1
Evidence for this study was collected in Romania in 1981 and the manuscript was prepared by the author in 1984
in response to a publisher's invitation. Unfortunately, following a lengthy delay, that publication did not take
place; however, when a later request was received to submit a paper on the Vinča signs, the author wrote an
article that essentially incorporated the earlier manuscript as well as a few script signs from the 1981 research;
the expanded version was published in 1990 in The Life of Symbols, edited by Foster and Botscharow. Recently
the author was informed that many prehistorians and archaeologists interested in the Vinča script are not familiar
with or have been unable to locate his work, including the 1981 book, The Sign System of the Vinča Culture,
which is essentially an update of his dissertation on the Vinča a signs, including a corpus of 210 signs collected
in 1971 from numerous sites in former Yugoslavia. [The dissertation was published by microfilm xerography in
1973 by University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan]. The present article is intended to introduce what was
"New Evidence" in 1981; hence, it is possible that a few of the signs may have been published during the
intervening two decades. In addition, it is apparent that many readers interested in the script have no access to
the 1990 publication of "A Neolithic Sign System in Southeastern Europe"; therefore, relevant portions from that
article have been introduced at demarcated points in the following article. The reader thus is given the
opportunity to compare the "new" Parta evidence (and Tordos material not included in previous analyses) with
what has previously been published about the Vinča script.

2
This important site, situated on the south bank of the Maros (Mures) River, is known as Tordos in Hungarian and
Turdas in Romanian. Many of the unusual artifacts from this site are known only from the unpublished but
meticulously illustrated notebook of Zsófia Torma. The Tordos examples herein (not previously seen nor
published by the author in his corpus of signs) are taken from this work, which was made available to me
through the kindness of N.Vlassa of Muzeul de storie al Transilvaniei in Cluj.

3
An analysis and catalogue of previously collected evidence is presented in Pre-Writing in Southeastern Europe:
The Sign System of the Vinča Culture.

4
Unpublished examples from Parta are included in the present study. The Parta evidence was seen in the private
collection of A. Agotha, K. Germann and F. Resch of Timisoara, Romania. I am very grateful for their kind and
gracious assistance in providing photographs and drawings of numerous artifacts from the site of Parta and for
permission to publish them. Although many of these finds were retrieved from the Timis River, due to erosion of
the riverbanks on which Parta is situated, stratified excavations at the site by Gh. Lazarovici have produced
similar finds, which date to the Vinča B period and to the later Vinča C-D sequence. I wish to express my
appreciation for the assistance of Prof. Lazarovici.

5
Details regarding this object were provided by Dr. Alexander Marshack. For further description and discussion
of this rare find see Winn 1981. If the sign in B-5 (Fig. 4e) is inverted, it may be an anthropomorphic
representation; other signs recall ligatures in the Vinča system.

6
Additional commentary from the expanded 1990 version of the 1984 "New Evidence" paper is inserted
throughout the remainder of this article wherever relevant; it should be noted that these views emerged from
thoughts first expressed in Winn 1973, 1981.

7
The following paragraph on the limited evidence that might be construed to represent economic uses of the signs
does not appear in Winn 1990, as by then the author had abandoned any consideration that the script signs were
related to economic usage. In 1984, however, many prehistorians and archaeologists still considered the signs to
be at most simple potmarks or possibly a method of enumerating. This paragraph nevertheless is of interest in
documenting the history and development of ideas about the Vinča script.

8
Note, however, that this article was formulated in the mid 1980's; recent research may have produced such links

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