TechAncient "treasure map". It was created 4,000 years ago

Ancient "treasure map". It was created 4,000 years ago

A bronze age plate with a "treasure map".
A bronze age plate with a "treasure map".
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons | Paul du Châtellier
ed. NGA

10:04 AM EDT, October 18, 2023, updated: 10:42 AM EDT, October 18, 2023

A rock from the Bronze Age turns out to be a "treasure map"– we read on the portal IFL Science. Scientists from France are examining a slab known as Saint-Bélec, which was discovered in 1900, then disappeared for over 100 years, it was found again in 2014.

A rock found at a prehistoric site in Finistère is characterized by the presence of extraordinary engravings, which have aroused the interest of archaeologists from the beginning. Scientists claim that the markings on the rock show an 80 percent similarity to the area around an 18-mile stretch of the Odet river.

A bronze age tablet. This is the oldest three-dimensional map of Europe

IFL Science reminds us that a rock discovered over 100 years ago was recognized in 2021 as the oldest three-dimensional map of Europe. For the past two years, scientists have been conducting research that will assist in locating other sites and monuments represented on the ancient map.

"Using a map to search for archaeological sites is a great approach. We never work in this way." - explained Yvan Pailler, a professor from the University of Western Brittany.

Today, archaeologists work based on modern radar equipment and aerial photos. These are the main methods that allow the discovery of interesting places including in cities. The Saint-Bélec slab, however, presents a completely different approach, as it enables the search for places significant to science on engravings situated on the rock.

"It's a treasure map," claims Pailler.

The Paillera team plans to search for treasures from an ancient rock in the near future. However, archaeologists realize that examining the territory from Saint-Bélec with specific markings on the plate could take even 15 years.

The slab contains a number of engraved symbols that, years ago, made no sense to scientists when first discovered. However, with time, archaeologists have recognized the potential of the find and matched the elevations and lines to rivers in the Brittany region (approx. 311 miles from Paris).

It's worth emphasizing that the slab is smaller than it was when it was created. According to Paillier, many fragments of rock could have ended up in tombs as wall fragments. Finding the missing pieces is almost impossible today and archaeologists have to use an incomplete "treasure map".

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