Is this the oldest map in Europe? Stone slab with markings made 4,000 years in the past reveals a part of France

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Is this the oldest map in Europe? Giant stone slab with markings etched 4,000 years in the past depicts a area of France throughout the Bronze Age

  • A stone slab forgotten for a century has been deemed the oldest map in Europe
  • The stone slab dates again to some 4,000 years in the past throughout the Bronze Age 
  • It was first found in France in 1900 after which sat in a fort cellar till 2017
  • Experts lately analyzed the slab, which reveals etchings of West Brittany
  • There is a 3D form to symbolize the valley of the River Odet in France 



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A Bronze Age stone slab unearthed in France in 1900 has been rediscovered in a brand new evaluation that deems it to be the oldest recognized map in Europe.

A group of French scientists decided the markings had been etched 4,000 years in the past and depict an space in Western Brittany, France.

The slab, dubbed Saint-Bélec Slab, consists of parts the group says they might anticipate in a prehistoric map – together with ‘repeated motifs joined by traces to present the format of a map.

The engraved floor means that the slab’s topography was purposely 3D-shaped to symbolize the valley of the River Odet, whereas a number of traces seem to depict the river community.

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A Bronze Age stone slab unearthed in France in 1900 has been rediscovered in a brand new evaluation that deems it to be the oldest recognized map in Europe

A team of French scientists determined the markings were etched 4,000 years ago and depict an area in Western Brittany, France. Pictured: the team's interpretation of the engravings on the Saint-Bélec Slab (top left) as compared with the early Bronze Age structures known in the Montagnes noires area (top right) and known river and princely barrow features (bottom left). The final map (bottom right) shows the area of France depicted on the map with respect to other barrow locations and their corresponding theorised territories

A team of French scientists determined the markings were etched 4,000 years ago and depict an area in Western Brittany, France. Pictured: the team's interpretation of the engravings on the Saint-Bélec Slab (top left) as compared with the early Bronze Age structures known in the Montagnes noires area (top right) and known river and princely barrow features (bottom left). The final map (bottom right) shows the area of France depicted on the map with respect to other barrow locations and their corresponding theorised territories

A group of French scientists decided the markings had been etched 4,000 years in the past and depict an space in Western Brittany, France. Pictured: the group’s interpretation of the engravings on the Saint-Bélec Slab (high left) as in contrast with the early Bronze Age constructions recognized within the Montagnes noires space (high proper) and recognized river and princely barrow options (backside left). The closing map (backside proper) reveals the realm of France depicted on the map with respect to different barrow places and their corresponding theorised territories

‘A map is ‘a drawing or plan of the earth’s floor or a part of it,’ the group wrote within the announcement.

‘The Saint-Bélec Slab does certainly bear the three parts which can be most probative of prehistoric cartographic illustration: homogenous composition with engravings which can be equivalent in method and magnificence and repetition of motifs.’

The slab had been forgotten all through time because it moved to totally different places round France.

It was first re-used in a burial construction throughout the finish of the early Bronze Age.

A team of French scientists determined the markings were etched 4,000 years ago and depict an area in Western Brittany, France

A team of French scientists determined the markings were etched 4,000 years ago and depict an area in Western Brittany, France

A group of French scientists decided the markings had been etched 4,000 years in the past and depict an space in Western Brittany, France

Using high-resolution 3D surveys and photogrammetry of the slab, the team was able to confirm the engravings matched 80 percent of an area that surrounds the 18-mile long River Odet

Using high-resolution 3D surveys and photogrammetry of the slab, the team was able to confirm the engravings matched 80 percent of an area that surrounds the 18-mile long River Odet

Using high-resolution 3D surveys and photogrammetry of the slab, the group was in a position to verify the engravings matched 80 p.c of an space that surrounds the 18-mile lengthy River Odet

The slab fashioned one of many partitions of a stone-made coffin that held quite a lot of our bodies with the engravings turned towards the within of the tomb.

When first unearthed in 1900, specialists moved it to Museum of National Antiquities in 1924 after which it was relocated to a caste in France till it was present in 2014.

However, it wasn’t till 2017 did researchers from the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap), Bournemouth University and University of Western Brittany lay eyes on the carved slab.

Using high-resolution 3D surveys and photogrammetry of the slab, the group was in a position to verify the engravings matched 80 p.c of an space that surrounds the 18-mile lengthy River Odet.

The slab, dubbed Saint-Bélec Slab, includes elements the team says they would expect in a prehistoric map - including 'repeated motifs joined by lines to give the layout of a map.

The slab, dubbed Saint-Bélec Slab, includes elements the team says they would expect in a prehistoric map - including 'repeated motifs joined by lines to give the layout of a map.

The slab, dubbed Saint-Bélec Slab, consists of parts the group says they might anticipate in a prehistoric map – together with ‘repeated motifs joined by traces to present the format of a map.

When first unearthed in 1900, experts moved it to Museum of National Antiquities in 1924 and then it was relocated to a caste in France until it was found in 2014. However, it wasn't until 2017 did researchers uncover its true meaning

When first unearthed in 1900, experts moved it to Museum of National Antiquities in 1924 and then it was relocated to a caste in France until it was found in 2014. However, it wasn't until 2017 did researchers uncover its true meaning

When first unearthed in 1900, specialists moved it to Museum of National Antiquities in 1924 after which it was relocated to a caste in France till it was present in 2014. However, it wasn’t till 2017 did researchers uncover its true that means

‘This might be the oldest map of a territory that has been recognized,’ Dr Clément Nicolas from Bournemouth University, one of many examine’s authors, informed the BBC.

‘There are a number of such maps carved in stone everywhere in the world. Generally, they’re simply interpretations. But that is the primary time a map has depicted an space on a selected scale.’

The sheet of rock is 5 toes by 6 toes lengthy and is claimed to focus on that the realm was a territory of hierarchical political entity that tightly managed a territory within the early Bronze Age, and breaking it could have indicated condemnation and deconsecration.

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