An unexpected furor was caused by the exhibition in New York, “The Lost World of Old Europe”, wrote the New York Times. Long before the flourishing of Greece and Rome, even earlier than the first cities in Mesopotamia and Egypt, at the downstream of Danube River lived a nation ahead of its time in trade, arts and craftsmanship. Many American specialized issues and daily newspapers point out that, during its efflorescence the “Old European” civilization had been one of the most advanced cultures in the world.
In 1972, near Varna (Bulgaria) was discovered the Varna Necropolis and its priceless Chalcolithic treasure. Also in the Durankulak complex, which is a Neolithic settlement with 1200 graves was excavated the biggest prehistoric treasure in southeast Europe.
The people on the northwest Black Sea coast were a highly developed community, its traditions merging with the heritage of the Thracian ethno-cultural community and later the Ancient Greek civilizations, the oldest of them being the Mycenaean civilization (2700-1120 BC).
Douglas Bailey from the University of San Francisco writes the following in the exhibition’s catalogue: “The ability to build, use and understand symbolic objects, defines people as such. This capability unites us – the modern people – with the Neolithic people and Paleolithic artists”. Evidence of this are the golden, copper and ceramic bracelets, figurines and dishes.
According to Michel Louis Seferiad, an anthropologist in the French National Center for Scientific Research, these items are shrouded by ancient mysteries, cults and myths. Also in these lands were discovered the oldest written signs in the world.
The discoveries of Transylvania (Romania) and around Vinča (Serbia) are approximately of the same period. In addition, even older are the symbols on a small clay dish found in the village of Gradeshnitsa (Vratsa, Bulgaria). Their age is considered to be at least 6000 years.
In comparison we point out that the Sumerian script, until recently considered the oldest one, was created around 3100 BC. Due to the big popularity of the exhibition in the USA, now Europe also begins to notice these facts. New discoveries point out something really sensational: The Balkan area is the cradle of civilization, these lands were inhabited by a highly developed culture that is much older than the Mesopotamian civilization, says Deutsche Welle.
In his book “The mysteries of the Danube Civilization” Harald Haarmann proves that the Balkans were inhabited by the civilization that developed the first written language. Haarmann calls this culture“Old European”. It existed on the territories of modern-day Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece as well as parts of Ukraine and Hungary. According to archaeological discoveries, its emergence can be traced back to 7000 BC. Haarmann claims that words, which have hitherto been considered as Ancient Greek, are actually “Old European” and are still used today. Such examples are fireplace (камина, kamina), olive (маслина, maslina), ceramics (керамика, ceramica) metal (метал), hymn (химн) and others.
The Danube civilization arose 2000 years before that of the Sumerians.
Haarmann confirms what has long been known that the oldest gold in the world was found within the territory of modern-day Varna (Bulgaria). According to results from modern methods and techniques, it was made in 4500 BC, which means that it is 2000 years older than the famous Egyptian gold treasure.