ANCIENT COMMODITY MEASURES

MS 5238
MS Short Title ANCIENT COMMODITY MEASURES
Text ACCOUNT OF 3+11+5+9+7 MEASURES OF UNIDENTIFIED COMMODITIES
Description MS in an unknown pre Indo-European language on bone, Narbonne, France, ca. 4000-3800 BC, 1 bone, diam. 1,5x8,1 cm, 4 lines with 5 different numbers consisting of single strokes, ca. 16 pictographs and signs, paper label pasted on with 7 lines in cursive script: " Cabeza de cervico y marcas, Cueva de cruzada en Narbona Francia".
Context Similar bones are in MS 5237/1 (offline) and MS 5237/2
Provenance 1. Found Cueva de Croisade, Narbonne, France, (1910-1920); 2. Private collection, Spain, (1910/1920-); 3. Michel Bouvier, Paris, Cat. L'Art de l'Ècriture, 2003:2.
Commentary

Hans Jensen, in "Sign, symbol and script", pp. 37-39, dates the signs from Dolmen d'Alvao in Portugal to about 4000 BC, being attached to Iberian writing. Stephen Fisher in "A history of writing", pp. 22-24, mentions 210 symbols and signs engraved on objects of the Vincas culture, that have been radio-carbon dated to about 4000 BC.

According to Michaël Guichard, in "A history of writing", 2001/2002, pp. 17-19, Vinca (not far from modern Beograd) has given its name to the late Neolithic period of Danubian culture (5000-3800 BC). Clay figurines have been found with marks echoing protopictographic and Uruk IV pictographic script from Syria, Sumer or Highland Iran. The contents of these figurines, the seals of Kotacpart, and the clay tablet found at Gradesnica, remains a mystery due to the paucity of material so far found. This raises the question of where the cradle of continuous writing really was. So far there has been a contest between Egypt and Syria/Sumer/Highland Iran, with overwhelming recent evidence for the latter, dated to around 3500 BC.

Place of origin France
Dates 4000 - 3800 BC

Location