French 4,000-Yr-Outdated Carving Is Oldest Map In Europe, Research Exhibits
A Bronze-age slab first uncovered in 1900 in western France is the oldest map in Europe, in accordance with a examine launched this week.
The 4,000-year-old object, referred to as the Saint-Belec slab, is engraved with markings that characterize a part of the Black Mountains area of western France, mentioned Yvan Pailler, an archaeologist and one of many authors of the examine printed within the Bulletin of the French Prehistoric Society.
“Immediately, it’s the oldest map of a territory in Europe,” he mentioned.
“You possibly can see on the slab carvings which, at first sight, usually are not comprehensible.
“You have to actually take your time to begin to comprehend the way in which the motifs are organised and structured and the way in which they’re interlinked via traces.”
Archaeologist Paul du Chatellier found the slab at an historic burial floor in Finistere in 1900, and it was saved for many years at one in every of his properties.
Researchers solely started to review the rock — which measures 2.2 metres by 1.5 metres and weighs a ton — in 2017.
The repeated motifs joined by traces represented a territory 30 kilometres lengthy and 21 kilometres broad and will signify the possession of the land by a prince or a king, the researchers mentioned.
“If we might decipher what these symbols imply, we’d know what the map represents,” Paillier mentioned, including that the slab raises many questions.
“Can we nonetheless discuss societies the place writing did not exist and of pre or protohistory when you’ll be able to produce a map with a caption?”
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