Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Exhibit Sheds Light on a Lost European Civilization

There's a new exhibition at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University that will be of great interest to the ISCSC. The exhibition is called The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000-3500 BC. According to the Institute,

"The Lost World of Old Europe brings to the United States for the first time more than 160 objects recovered by archaeologists from the graves, towns, and villages of Old Europe, a cycle of related cultures that achieved a precocious peak of sophistication and creativity in what is now southeastern Europe between 5000 and 4000 BC, and then mysteriously collapsed by 3500 BC. Long before Egypt or Mesopotamia rose to an equivalent level of achievement, Old Europe was among the most sophisticated places that humans inhabited."

This past week, John Noble Wilford wrote an excellent New York Times article about the exhibition, in which he notes how remarkable it is that this society -- now elevated to civilization status -- appears to have had no written language.

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