French archaeologists have begun new excavations in Brittany to explore the mysterious Saint-Bélec slab, which was recognized as the oldest map in Europe in 2021. This 4000-year-old shale block, covered with engraved drawings, was discovered in 1900 in the Pole du Chatelier.
This was reported by UaInfo.
The slab measures 2.2 meters long and 1.53 meters wide. Initially, no one could decipher the meaning of the images of domes, wheels, and other figures that were connected by lines. But only a few years ago, researchers suggested that it could be an ancient map.
The archaeologists came to this conclusion by comparing the lines on the stone with modern maps of the surrounding area. They also found that some markers point to rivers, mountains, and ancient settlements that are not known to scientists.
Scientists are now using this stone as a "treasure map" to find archaeological sites. Scientist Ivan Payer explained: "We are trying to unravel this find, dating it and checking if there are any more unknown fragments. This is a real treasure map."
The area marked on this ancient map is approximately 30 by 21 kilometers. Comparing its data with the real terrain could take about 15 years, as it requires extremely careful work, the researchers added.
Currently, archaeologists have already scanned the slab and compared the lines marked on it with modern geographical markings on the map. The coincidence is approximately 80%.
Experts also noted that the analysis of this ancient map could lead to a series of new archaeological discoveries.
Historians believe that this map probably shows the territory of the ancient Bronze Age kingdom, which disappeared due to wars and uprisings.
As a reminder, the tomb of a little-known female pharaoh dating back 5,000 years was found in Egypt.
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