A Bronze Age slab first discovered in 1900 in western France is the oldest map of Europe, according to a study published this week.
The 4,000-year-old object, known as the Dalle de Saint-Belec, is engraved with markings that represent part of the Black Mountains region in western France, said Yvan Pailler, archaeologist and one of the authors of the study published in the Bulletin. of the French Prehistoric Society.
“Today it is the oldest map of a territory in Europe,” he said.
“You can see sculptures on the slab which, at first glance, are not understandable.
“You really have to take your time to start to understand how the patterns are organized and structured and how they are interconnected across the lines.”
Archaeologist Paul du Chatellier discovered the slab in an old cemetery in Finistère in 1900, and it was stored for decades in one of his properties.
Researchers only started studying the rock – which measures 2.2 meters by 1.5 meters and weighs a ton – in 2017.
The repeated patterns connected by lines represented a territory 30 kilometers long and 21 kilometers wide and could signify ownership of the land by a prince or king, the researchers said.
“If we could decipher what these symbols mean, we would know what the map represents,” Paillier said, adding that the slab raises many questions.
“Can we still speak of societies where writing did not exist and of pre or protohistory when we can produce a map with a legend?”
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)