The symbols in the banner


In the banner above, just under my name, is a sequence of mysterious symbols. I think I should explain them a little.  They have an ancient feel which makes them seem appropriate for the book I am just publishing, which is set in the Neolithic, and that, of course, is why they are up there, but they’re not just random artsy squiggles. There’s a reason they feel ancient: they are ancient. They are a few selected Vinča symbols. Vinča symbols have been found on artifacts like clay bowls or spindle whorls from the 6th and 5th millennium BCE, just about the time period of the characters in The Téuta’s Child.

No one really knows what they mean, or whether they are an alphabet, a proto-alphabet, or just decorative symbols. Most of the time they appear as single symbols. But they do sometimes appear in groups and sequences, including some sequences that are repeated. I like thinking of them as at least a hint of the beginning of an alphabet, or of the notion of an alphabet, or at least of symbols that had meaning to those who saw them and that would eventually give rise to the notion of an alphabet.

The sequence above has no meaning other than its ancient feel. It’s not a sequence found on any artifact as far as I know.  

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By Ullman