The face and the backside
of a copy of the Gradeshnitsa tablet
The Gradeshnitsa tablets (Bulgarian: Плочката от Градешница) or plaques are clay artefacts with incised marks. They were unearthed in 1969 near the village of Gradeshnitsa in the Vratsa Province of north-western Bulgaria. Steven Fischer has written that "the current opinion is that these earliest Balkan symbols appear to comprise a decorative or emblematic inventory with no immediate relation to articulate speech." That is, they are neither logographs (whole-word signs depicting one object to be spoken aloud) nor phonographs (signs holding a purely phonetic or sound value)." The tablets are dated to the 5th millennium BC and are currently preserved in the Vratsa Archeological Museum of Bulgaria. In 2006, these tablets were the subject of attention in Bulgarian media due to claims made by Stephen Guide, a Bulgarian American of the Institute of Transcendent Analysis, Long Beach, California, who claimed he had deciphered the tablets.
^Subchev, Konstantin. "Scandal Erupts Over the Most Ancient Writing." Standart News. Thursday 30 March 2006. "Stephan Gide who arrived from the USA to disclose sensational details about the ancient Thracian writing created a scandal in Bulgaria. The scientist, who claims to be an expert in linguistics, cryptography and transcendental analysis, announced that he had deciphered the inscriptions on an ancient tablet found in Gradeshnitsa. Scientists from the Bulgarian Academy of Science are explicit that Gide is an impostor, who has written his book on the basis of earlier discoveries filling the blanks with forfeited proofs. The real name of Gide is Gaidarski and, according to well informed sources, he is a spiritual leader of a religious cult defending a doctrine, which is a weird combination of Christian and ancient Orphistic beliefs."