Valentyn Danylenko -
of The Tradition
of Literacy
In Ukraine

July 6, 1993, was the 80th anniversary of the birth of Valentyn Mykolayovych Danylenko (1913-1982), famous archaeologist, linguist, historian, and author of such monographs as Late Stone Age in Ukraine (1969), Eneolithicc Age in Ukraine (1974), Stone Grave (1986). of many articles, unpublished books "Bronze Age in Ukraine", "Ethnogenesis of the Slavs", "Cosmogony of the Primitive Society", as well as of numerous manuscripts.

Danylenko was born in the village of Novo-Mykhailivka in the Zaporizhya region. He began his scholarly activity as a student of local lore, then, in 1932-1935, studied at the Faculty of History in the Melitopol Pedagogical Institute. In 1939, became a graduate student in the Institute of the History of Material Culture attached to the Leningrad department of the USSR Academy of Sciences. During the first days of World War II, he volunteered for service in the army as a common soldier. He served in reconnaissance and worked his way up from cadet to major. He was wounded, awarded three orders and several medals.

From 1946 and to the end of his life Danylenko worked as a senior research associate in the Institute of Archaeology of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He headed several expeditions, and it took him a long time to defend his doctoral dissertation. He was hard to get on with, had been persecuted by his colleagues and adversities. His fascination with the mysterious themes, ignored by "normal researchers", complicated his life most of all.

In the 1950s Valentyn Danylenko discovered in the steppe near the Dnipro River the most ancient remnants of archaeological cultures (the burial mound culture, cord culture, hole culture, etc.), that since pre-war times modern science has considered precursors of the Indo-European and Indo-Iranian (Aryan) communities. At the same time, Danylenko paid attention to the co-existence of other cultures with ones mentioned above, marking out the "Azov-Black sea line of development of the steppe's eneolithic age" (i.e. Brazen-Stone age). A number of these tribes, traces of which have been tracked from the Danube region to Northern Mesopotamia and Asia Minor connected Trypillya with the Near-Eastern civilisations of 4000-3000 B.C. He also discovered that the earliest nomadic horsemen had travelled along this same route, and they had appeared in the steppes between the Ural Mountains and the Bug River at the first stages of the "hole" archaeological culture (i.e. Aryan community).

Danylenko generously shared his ideas. They were taken up and developed (not always referring to the real author) both by friends and by enemies from Kyiv, Moscow, and abroad. We can say for sure that his "Cosmogony of the Primitive Society", unpublished as a separate book, impelled the publishing of Cosmogony and Mythology of Eneolihic Age Farmers by B.O.Rybakov (Soviet Archaeology 1965, n.1-2) and The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Europe 7000 to 3500 B.C. Myths, Legends and Cult Images by M.Gimbutas (New York, London, 1974)...

But there were some spheres, where archaeologists other than Valentyn Danylenko ignored during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, because they lacked his linguistic knowledge. The inscriptions, which he collected mainly in Ukraine, became the most important base of his titanic work. Danylenko had two cuneiform clay tables from the days of the Trypillian culture and Sumer; he discovered letters of the Crete-Mikenian type in the Stone Grave near Melitopol; he proved that many letters of the Greek towns in the North Black Sea region belonged to the Scythians; he gathered and read many old Russian "chert rez"—the letters made long before Cyril and Mephodius by pagan priests (perhaps, Aryan, or even since Trypillian times).

If his ideas had been supported in time by the republic and All-Union Academies of Sciences, and if Valentyn Danylenko had taken advantage of the opportunities offered by scholarly popular journals, the history of Kyivan Rus' and earlier civilisations between the Danube and the Dnipro Rivers would appear in a very different light from how it is portrayed in today's encyclopaedias and other official publications. But, unfortunately, he wrote only scholarly monographs and articles, academic officials from Moscow were more cunning than the former military pioneer. This was also official policy. It was used to conceal the fact that Valentyn Danylenko lifted the curtain of historical scholarship in the former USSR too high, threatening ideas put forward by institutes ("on the basis of the progressive science of Marxism-Leninism"). But unofficial ones — those who wanted to see the Slavs and other peoples as savages, enlightened only by the Christian church,— also in different placed threw obstacles in Danylenko's way... But he paved the way to truth transcending distorting scientific and political structures to the best of his abilities.

Inspiring the primitive human being with the Unified Light. Picture on the ritual thing from the grave near the village of Sokolovka in the Orel and Samara rivers valley. III millennium B.C.

Spinning machine with the Ukrainian inscription. The beginning of the II millennium B.C.

Aratta (proto-Sumerian) inscription, dated the IV millennium B.C., from the Stone Grave near Melitopol. It is read about the number of the collected grain.

As was already stated, Danylenko's ideas went forth over the world. As for him, he did not ignore the ideas of others. Let other biographers investigate how much Danylenko borrowed from V.Georgiev or V.Petrov, and how much he gave to O.Znoyova or V.Sofronov... The main thing is that Danylenko saved the honour of Ukrainian science both from amateur .attempts to understand our complex past and from the foreign prejudice concerning the origins of the civilisation in the Dnipro River region.

Several photos and pictures of priceless cultural relics are left among Danylenko's papers in the archives of the Institute of Archaeology of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences:

1. Cuneiform clay tables and their photos were hidden by somebody (without taking into consideration that more than 100 of such finds are known since 1940 in different countries situated on the Danube River) .'According to the eye-witnesses' testimonies, two tables, which belonged to Danylenko, had been found by the students of local lore in the Volyn' region and had had Sumerian signs (or pre-Sumerian). One of the tables, deciphered by Danylenko himself, belonged to the most ancient period, which still preserved pictographic characteristics, and thus, could be dated from 6000-5000 B.C. Another table was like the Shumerian ones and could be dated back to 3000 B.C.

The photo of the statuette from the Cherkassy Regional Museum remains in the archives. There is an inscription "ushebti" on its back side. The figures of people were called so in Egypt and those figures were included to the burial ritual and were often decorated with magic inscriptions. Our statuette is dated circa 3500 B.C., the last period of the Trypillian culture. Cuneiform, or something similar, can be seen along its backbone, half-stuck with the museum labels.

2. D.B.Mykhailov — a student and follower of V.M.Danylenko — published recently nearly 50 inscriptions from the Stone Grave near the village of Terpinnya in the Zaporizhya region. They were published in a collection of-articles of the Poltava regional museum The explorer dated them the beginning of 2000 B.C. and compared them with the well-known Crete-Mycenaean writing.

3. One of the Scythian inscriptions, written on a fragment of a Greek amphore from the town-colony Tira. V.Danylenko mentioned it in the manuscript of the article "Concerning Question of Scythian-Sarmatian Writing". This work is devoted to the deciphering of the inscriptions on the stones from Olbia (the Greek town-state over the Dnipro-Bug estuary). Using the Greek and the Aramaic alphabets, as well as drawing in their mysterious symbolic signs which were deciphered by Danylenko as mono- and cryptograms, the late Scythians left here such inscriptions as: "This is a Scythian tsar", "Aspurg is the tsar" and others.

4. A fragment of stone with inscription used in the construction of an ancient wall near the town of Chornovod is examined in the Danylenko's manuscript "An Old-Rus" Inscription From Romania of the Times of Ihor's Campaign Against Byzantium". The explorer compared the find with the famous Tmutorokan stone. The inscription had been scrawled by a not very skillful man who could read and write, using Greek-Byzantine letters, several decades before the formation of the Cyril alphabet. Russian towns Pereyaslavets and Kyiovets, that existed somewhere on that territory, were mentioned in the manuscript; some annalistic testimonies about the Bulgarian-Byzantine Ihor's campaigns in 941-945 were described there as well. Not only translation from the fragment of the stone, but the reconstruction of the whole inscription was mentioned.

5. Photos, pictures and schemes of more than 10 spindle plummets from different relics from 2000 B.C. to the 12th or 13th centuries A.D. The most ancient of them have calendar markings and inscriptions like those described in the par.2. But the majority is covered with the inscriptions described in the fourth point (a separate article of Danylenko was devoted to them but only some odd pictures and rough copies have still been preserved). Among the inscriptions of the 9th and 10th centuries, Danylenko emphasised the autographs (signatures and dates) of Ihor, Olha and other Rus princes of pre-Christian times and the beginning of the Christian period. Danylenko thought that those plummets served as original "seals" on the ends of cords with which deeds were tied.

Thus, Valentyn Danylenko traced back the tradition of writing or several scripts, which existed on the territory of Ukraine 5-6 thousand years before the adoption of the Christianity and the Cyrillic alphabet. During various periods (on the eve of the migration of part of the Aryans to India; at the beginning of the formation of Kyivan Rus) writing was widespread, but it was preserved mainly among a narrow circle of priests. And if written language is one of the most important features of high culture and civilisation, then the population of the Ukrainian regions near the Dnipro River reached that high level not thanks to Christianity, Byzantium or Rome, and not even to Greece or Sumer...

They say that manuscripts cannot burn. But unfortunately this aphorism has many exceptions. Many works of Valentyn Danylenko burnt in so called "war of authorities". But his ideas light the way for those, who are striving to understand the origins of Rus'-Ukraine, as well as of the Indo-European and Arian civilisation...

The case of deciphering the pre-literacy of Ukraine, that was begun by V.M. Danylenko and his forerunners, is now going on. At the moment of publication of this article V.O.Chudynov, Doctor of Philosophy from Moscow, traced back the origins of the pagan "riz" in Danube-Dnipro Aratta — "Trypillya" and their existence till seventeenth century. There are similar inscriptions among the pictures dated the fourth century B.C. on the Stone Grave near Melitopol. Professor A.H.Kifishyn began to read now some of the 32 lines, published by V.M.Danylenko and B.D.Mykhailov. Here is one of the inscriptions: hul-apin-cud-ab-val-dim-dis-su-gana (plough merrily cuts the land, elder binds the dead, as he is "hand of the field"). It is the most ancient rightfully read inscription, found on the territory of Naddnipryanshchyna. So, we can lead the counting of literary history of Ukraine from here, from Proto-Sumerian Aratta-Oratania.