MS 5237/2
Description MS in an unknown pre Indo-European language on stag bone, Bancal de la Coruna, Spain, ca. 4000-3800 BC, 1 bone, 2,2x7,1x1,2 cm, 1 line with 6 Ibero-Tartessian signs, paper label pasted on the back with 3 lines of cursive script: " Ostas grabades con texto? Bancal de la Coruna, Hallaisgode 1916 no 104".
Context Similar bones are MSS 5237/1 and 5238.
Provenance 1. Found Bancal de la Coruna, Hallaisgode, Spain, no. 104 (1916); 2. Private collection, Spain, no 104 (1916-); 3. Michel Bouvier, Paris, Cat. L'Art de l'Ècriture, 2003:4.

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.

In an article by Georgeos Diaz-Montexano:" Atlantis in an Iberian inscription of more than 6000 years. The oldest writing of western Europe", in: Scientific Atlantology International Society, 2005, the text is tentatively read as ATal-TaRTe, commented as follows: "…It is impossible to deny that these words (Atal) look much like the root that appears in the name of Atlantis, that is an adjectival Atlas form, whereas Tarte adjusts to the root reconstructed by the Spanish specialists on the old name of Tartessos…". "Plato in his history of Atlantis tells that the Atlanteans knew the writing. Strabo affirms that the Turdetanean's towns, direct descendants of the Tartessians, conserved historical annals and laws written in a grammar that went back to more than 6000 years before its time. Academic archaeology does not yet accept that this has been certain, thinking that it is a mere invention of Strabo. Nevertheless, in Iberia there have appeared many testimonies of inscriptions recorded or painted in caves, dolmenes, and in diverse objects of bone and ceramics which date back to more than 4000 BC, although some findings reported by Walterman Fein, Georgeos Diaz-Montexano and Jorge Maria Ribero-Meneses show clear evidence of the use of characters of alphabetical linear writing in palaeolithic context."

Exhibited The Norwegian Institute of Palaeography and Historical Philology (PHI), Oslo, 13.10.2003-06.2005.
Place of origin Spain
Dates 4000 - 3800 BC