The inscribed tablets were examined by a number of scientists from all across the world and isotope carbon 14 dating revealed they were created at least 6,500 years ago.
The tablets covered with pictographic writing are extraordinary because they raise the possibility that writing in the Danube basin predated the earliest Sumerian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphics.
This suggests that the Tartaria tablets represents the first writing in the world, which we know of. Needless to say that this discovery caused great interest and controversy in the scientific community.
The tablets which are 1,000 years older than the Mesopotamian writings contain signs that have remained undeciphered until this day.
Nicolae Vlassa, an archaeologist at the National Museum of Transylvanian History, Cluj-Napoca who was the original discoverer of the tablets also unearthed 26 clay and stone figurines and a shell bracelet, accompanied by the burnt, broken, and disarticulated bones of an adult male.
Two of the tablets are rectangular and the third is round. The Tartaria tablets are small and two of them have holes drilled through them.
Were they used as kind of amulets?
What is common for all three tablets is that they are inscribed only on one face. The rectangular tablet depicts a horned animal, an unclear figure, and a vegetal motif, a branch or tree. The others have a variety of mainly abstract symbols. The purpose of the burial is unclear, but it has been suggested that the body was, if not that of a shaman or spirit-medium, that of a local most respected wise person.
One thing is sure: the writing found on the Tartaria Tablets is the first writing in the world, which we know of. Unfortunately, the signs have remained indecipherable until this day.
Interestingly, a 5,500 year old clay pot with similar symbols was discovered in Bulgaria.
Naturally, there have been a lot of suggestions about the meaning of the symbols. Scholars have put forward a number of theories, but the truth is that there is still no-one that can explain the enigmatic signs inscribed on the Tartaria tablets.
Some scholars have suggested that the symbols may have been used as marks of ownership or as the focus of religious rituals. Others believe that the tablets were created as imitations of more advanced ancient cultures or are a multiplication formula.
There are also some scientists who think the Tartaria tablets are in fact the world’s oldest writing system that we have encountered.
The meaning of the symbols is unknown, and their nature has been the subject of much debate, but their existence clearly suggests that the Danube civilization invented a writing system long before the Sumerians.
It is a controversial claim, but evidence indicates that this was a very likely event.
For now, the true nature and meaning of the Tartaria tablets remains an unexplained mystery.