The stone slab discovered in France is perhaps the oldest European map – Earth – Science and Technology

A stone slab with a Bronze Age engraving, discovered in France and known as the “Saint-Bélec slab”, could be the oldest cartographic representation in Europe.

This is what the authors of the study, which was published in a journal, think The Bulletin of the French Prehistoric Society. Experts claim that the relief on the board represents a map of a part of Brittany. The daily Le Monde informed about it.

The board, measuring 2.2 × 1.5 meters and weighing 1.5 tons, was first discovered in 1900 in the village of Leuhan in western Brittany. It formed one of the walls of a stone tomb in a large mound from the 19th to the 17th century BC. However, after the death of the researcher who made the find, the tile was lost. It was not rediscovered until 2014, tucked away in the dark and damp cellar of the castle, which is used by the National Archaeological Museum. It took another three years before experts were able to convince the environment that it was an exceptional finding worthy of further research and to receive a contribution, said Yvan Pailler, one of the two authors of the published study.

Researchers have noticed that the groove that divides the board into about two halves resembles the Odet valley in the Finistère department in western Brittany, and most of the other lines engraved in stone evoke other streams there.

The geography specialist then performed statistical recalculations to compare, as this mysterious object corresponds to current maps showing the same area. She concluded that 65 to 80 percent agreed with them.

The question arises as to what such a map was used for. A stone weighing more than one ton would hardly be a suitable helper for a hiker who wants to orient himself in the country. The study’s co-author, Clément Nicolas, believes the map was used to demonstrate the power of someone in control of the area. According to him, it could be a way to say, “This belongs to me.”

Source: – Veda a technika by

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