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Europe’s Oldest Map

When the Saint-Bélec Slab was found in 1900, it was largely ignored. But when it was rediscovered in a French castle in 2014, researchers decided to investigate this 5-foot by 6.5-foot piece of stone. Researcher Clément Nicolas from Bournemouth University in the UK, along with his team, used modern techniques to analyze the 4,000-year-old slab. They found that the drawings and lines carved onto one side of the stone depicted the Odet River valley. Researchers thought the repeated symbols and lines resembled a map. When they compared it to a modern map of the area, they found that it was an 80% accurate match. This makes the Saint-Bélec Slab the oldest known European map.


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