Tartaria tablets archaeological site to be purchased by Salistea town hall

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The local authorities in Salistea (county of Alba, north-west of Bucharest) intend to purchase from the villagers the entire area of the Tartaria archaeological site with the aim of preserving it and setting up nearby a museum devoted to the tablets and the history of the place.

Photo credit: (c) Paula Neamtu / AGERPRES ARHIVA

Tartaria is the archeological site where three clay tablets bearing incised symbols have been discovered in 1961. The tablets have been the subject of considerable controversy among historians, some of whom claim that the symbols represent the earliest known form of writing in the world.

Salistea Mayor Aurel Stanila told a press conference that so far they have managed to purchase about 70-80 percent of the area, i.e. 2.7 hectares, with the total amount allotted to this initiative amounting to 110,000 lei. The mayor expressed his hope that the entire area of the site could be purchased this year, so that it can be enclosed, given reports about treasure hunters, and put at the archaeologists' disposal for further research.

"We believe in the authenticity of the tablets and we are making efforts to set up the site and also a museum in the future," Aurel Stanila said.

The Tartaria tablets have been found, along with other pieces, during archaeological excavation carried out in 1961 on the left bank of the Mures river, near a halt of the Romanian Railway Company, under the supervision of Cluj-based historian and archaeologist Nicolae Vlasa.

Subject of some controversy, especially among Romanian historians, the Tartaria Tablets are considered, especially by some foreign experts, as vestiges of an ancient culture and the earliest known form of writing in the world.

The tablets, kept for a long period of time in the vault of a museum in Cluj-Napoca ( north-west of Bucharest ), have been initially dated as being older by one millennium than those discovered in Uruk and Djemet-Nasr, components of the Sumerian cuneiform script. According to a Romanian historian, the Tartaria settlement would be the first royal residence in the world and it would date from 6500-6000 BC. One of the tablets shows a hunting scene and the other two reveal signs believed to represent primitive writing.

On entering the Tartaria village, near DN7 national road, a granite monument, weighing eight tons, dedicated to the clay tablets, was unveiled ten years ago. The monument reproduces on one side the large-scale images on the three tablets. AGERPRES

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