The Global Prehistory Consortium at EURO INNOVANET
 The Old European Script. Further evidence
di Shan M. M. Winn

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.

Figure 5. Artifacts from Parţa excavation