(ORDO NEWS) — A severe drought has caused rivers to dry up across Europe, revealing stones hewn hundreds of years ago that warn future generations of hard times to come.
Centuries-old boulders known as “hungry stones” resurfaced last week as rivers in Europe dried up due to drought, locals say.
One such stone is located on the banks of the Elbe River, which originates in the Czech Republic and flows through Germany.
The boulder dates from 1616 and is engraved with a warning in German: ” Wenn du mich seehst, dann weine “, which means – ” If you see me, then cry .”
In 2013, a group of Czech researchers wrote that these boulders were “carved with years of hardship and the initials of the authors lost to history”, adding that “the main inscriptions warn of the effects of drought”.
“It said that the drought brought poor harvests, food shortages, high prices, and starvation for the poor people,” the researchers wrote.
“Before 1900, the following droughts were noted on the stone: 1417, 1616, 1707, 1746, 1790, 1800, 1811, 1830, 1842, 1868, 1892, and 1893.”
The last time these “hydrological landmarks” appeared was during the 2018 drought.
Andrea Toreti, senior research fellow at the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, said the current drought in Europe could be the worst in 500 years.
At a press conference on August 9, Toreti said that no other events in the past 500 years have been “like the 2018 drought. But this year, I think it will be worse,” Euronews reports.
He also added that “a very high risk of drought” remains for the next three months.
Recent studies have shown that more frequent and intense droughts are linked to climate change. An increase in global temperature causes changes in precipitation and increases evaporation.
According to the European Drought Observatory, 47% of Europe is on drought alert, which means there is a lack of soil moisture, and another 17% is on alert, which means vegetation is stressed.
Stones are not the only hidden relic that has appeared in European rivers due to drought. Receding waters due to climate change in the Po River in Italy have also unearthed many archaeological treasures.
In June, a sunken World War II barge surfaced on the surface of the country’s largest river. At this time, the river reached a low level during the worst drought in the last 70 years.
More recently, in late July, a drought-stricken Italian river exposed a previously submerged World War II 1,000-pound bomb .
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