Danubian is a term derived from the name of the Danube river that relates to the languages and cultures of Central Europe and the Lower Danube region in the Neolithic, when these areas were occupied by related cultures: the Linearbandkeramik (LBK) culture in Central Europe and the Vinča culture in the Lower Danube region. Both cultures are considered to be descended from the Starčevo culture of the Lower Danube by archaeologists.
Which languages these people spoke is unknown. None of these cultures has left behind written documents. While there are many objects of the Vinča culture which bear markings that some scholars consider an early form of a writing system, this notion is doubted by most relevant scholars, and at any rate, even if it was a script it remains undeciphered. Genetic evidence suggests an Anatolian, Near Eastern or Transcaucasian origin of these people. For instance, the most frequent Y-DNA haplogroup in LBK people was G2a, which is today most frequent in Georgia. This may mean that their languages may have been related by languages of the region such as Kartvelian.
Jörg Rhiemeier used to entertain the hypothesis that the Danubian cultures were related to the speakers of Proto-Indo-European in a family he called Europic as both were founded by Black Sea Flood refuguees from where is now the Bay of Odessa, and that the Etruscan language may also be related, but he later abandoned this hypothesis because the genetic and archaeological evidence was unsupportive and the Black Sea Flood itself is questionable. He no longer considers the Danubian cultures to be related to the Proto-Indo-Europeans.
In the League of Lost Languages there are the following Danubian conlangs:
- Alpic by Taylor Selseth was based on the Europic hypothesis with the inclusion of Etruscan, but seems to have been abandoned by the author.
- Thalassan by Rob Haden appears to be based on similar assumptions as Alpic and likewise appears to have been abandoned.
- Hesperic by Jörg Rhiemeier was originally also based on the Europic hypothesis; the author now no longer considers this to be a branch of Danubian but a Macro-Indo-European branch that entered Central Europe later (see Aquan languages for the underlying theoretical framework).