The Global Prehistory Consortium at EURO INNOVANET
indietro avanti
The pictures shows the inside of the Gradešnica plaque, bearing a long inscription divided into four horizontal segments; above each line there are three or four very different signs: the root-signs of the proto-European scrip crossed with religious symbols.
Discovered in north-west Bulgaria, in Vratsa (Vraca), it dates back to the end of the eighth millennium.

The sacred function of this script meant there was a natural and close association between the outlines of the signs and the religious symbols, and this is especially true for geometric and abstract symbols (Haarmann, 1995).

The abstract religious symbols often appear coupled with writing signs and constitute a few of the basic forms of the latter. The language for symbolic images which "fuses, is fused and is confused" with the linear signs typical of writing reveals, according to Gimbutas, the aspects and attributes of the Great Goddess (the snake, the spiral, V and M motives…) or expresses the religious ideas of "Old Europe" (the meander and the swastika).

The two levels of sacred communication (abstract symbols and writing signs) were used together on the same votive objects. They should not however be confused with each other. First, the writing signs are more numerous than the religious symbols.

Second, only the writing signs can be modified and multiplied by adding small strokes, arches or crosses; the religious iconography never changes its basic shape.