Tărtărian tablets

Step 8 of 8

A victim of politics?

wikicommons - monument for the Neolithic Tartaria tables Tartaria Romania.jpg

The Tărtăria tablets are now exhibited at the National Museum of Transylvanian History in Cluj-Napoca – around 100 kilometers north of the archaeological site at Tărtăria. In 2003, a monolith monument was erected at their findspot near the small village Tărtăria to commemorate this remarkable discovery. The memorial, which was designed by the Romanian sculptor Ioan Seu shows us three replicas of the tablets captured in stone with the caption: primul mesaj scris din istoria omenirii, ‘the first written message in human history’. This monument represents not only the scientific value of the archaeological find in 1961, but also its symbolic value for the local Romanian community who take great pride in the fact that it was in their region that one of the first writing systems emerged.cf

Unfortunately, the tablets have been politicized by those who are eager to see ‘Old Europe’ as the cradle of all civilization. Such distasteful abuse of sources is, however, no reason to ignore them. On the contrary: it makes it all the more important to give them a proper voice in the academic debate.

External References

Tărtăria tablets (wikidata.org)