The Global Prehistory Consortium at EURO INNOVANET
-The Gradešnica plaque - The karanovo seal - A cave near Sitovo

Temple model from Gradešnica

In this clay model of temple:
· facade, roof and walls are decorated with religious symbols and sacred ornamentation,
· the architrave exhibits the characteristic M and W motives of the Cassiopeia constellation,
· the columns framing the entrance have inscriptions vertically inscribed and with single sins separated by dots.
The miniature temple comes from Gradešnica (north-west Bulgaria) and is 14,5 cm. high. Belongings to the Vinca culture. it was made at the beginning of the seventh millennium.
The first temple models appeared 8,000 years ago and hundreds of them have been found by archaeologists. They are often studded, like this one, with symbols and inscriptions. The bust or mask of a goddess, her sacred animal or a pair of horns often towered over the entrance or on the roof.
What did these mignon sanctuaries depict and what was their use? Maybe they were votive offerings to the goddess of a particular temple or the symbolic representation of a goddess. In this second cases the temple models would be authentic idols on a par with the statuettes.


Gimbutas M., The Civilization of the Goddess, HarperCollins Publishers, 1991
Merlini M., Was Writing Born in Europe? Searching for a Sacred Script, Rome (in preparation)