This rock fragment with mysterious patterns that has remained largely unstudied for 4,000 years is attracting attention as a “treasure map” for archaeologists, who are searching for ancient ruins around northwestern France. I’m using this map for that purpose.
The so-called Saint-Bérec tablet was discovered at the site of the tomb. Claimed to be the oldest known map of Europe Since then, they have been working to understand the etchings, both to date the tablets and to rediscover lost monuments.
Ancient ruins are sometimes discovered through sophisticated radar equipment and aerial photography, and often discovered by chance while excavating the foundations of new buildings in urban areas.
“This is a treasure map,” Pyler said.
However, the team has only just begun their treasure hunt.
Ancient maps mark an area approximately 30 by 21 kilometers, Payet’s colleague Clement Nicolas said. CNRS Institute, said it was necessary to survey the entire territory and cross-reference the marks on the slabs. The work could take 15 years, he said.
“Symbols whose meanings are immediately obvious”
Nicolas and Payet were part of the team that rediscovered the tablet in 2014. The stone tablet was first discovered by a local historian who did not realize its significance in 1900.
The report said it took more than a dozen workers to remove the heavy stone slabs from the mound, which at the time was used to form the walls of a large burial chest. National Archaeological Museum. It has been in the museum’s collection since 1924.
A broken pottery vessel, typical of early Bronze Age pottery, was also found with the slab, according to the researchers. French Prehistoric Society.
French experts were joined by colleagues from other institutions in France and abroad to begin deciphering the mystery.
“There were some symbols engraved on it that made sense right away,” Pyler said.
Among the rough bumps and lines of the slab, I could see the rivers and mountains of Roudouallec, part of the Brittany region about 500 kilometers west of Paris. The researchers scanned the slab and compared it to modern maps and found an approximately 80% match.
“We still need to identify all the geometric symbols and the legends that accompany them,” Nicholas said.
The slab contains small cavities that researchers believe may represent burial mounds, dwellings, or geological deposits. Discovering their meaning can lead to a plethora of new discoveries.
But first, archaeologists have spent the past few weeks excavating the site where the tablets were first discovered. According to Payet, it is one of the largest Bronze Age burial sites in Brittany.
“We’re trying to find ways to better contextualize the findings and date the slabs,” Pyler said.
Their latest excavations have already uncovered several previously undiscovered fragments from the slabs.
The fragments were apparently cut and used as tomb walls, and Nicholas suggests they may indicate changing power relations in the Bronze Age settlement.
The areas covered by the map probably correspond to ancient kingdoms, perhaps kingdoms that fell due to revolts or revolts.
“The carved boards no longer had any meaning and were destined to be dismantled and used as building materials,” Nicholas said.