Drought reveals ancient 'hunger stones' in European river

Drought reveals ancient 'hunger stones' in European river
On of the so called "hunger stones" exposed by the low level of water in the Elbe river is seen in Decin, Czech Republic, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. The low level of water caused by the recent drought has exposed some stones at the river bed whose appearances in history meant for people to get ready for troubles. They are known as the "hunger stones" and they were chosen in the past to record low water levels. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Due to this summer's drought in Central Europe, boulders known as "hunger stones" are reappearing in the Elbe River.

The low water levels in the river that begins in the Czech Republic then crosses Germany into the North Sea has exposed stones on the river bed whose appearances in history used to warn people that hard times were coming.

Over a dozen of the hunger stones, chosen to record low water levels, can now be seen in and near the northern Czech town of Decin near the German border.

The oldest water mark visible dates to 1616. That stone, is considered the oldest hydrological landmark in Central Europe, bears a chiseled inscription in German that says: "When you see me, cry."

  • Drought reveals ancient 'hunger stones' in European river
    People visit one of the so called "hunger stones" exposed by the low level of water in the Elbe river in Decin, Czech Republic, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. The low level of water caused by the recent drought has exposed some stones at the river bed whose appearances in history meant for people to get ready for troubles. They are known as the "hunger stones" and they were chosen in the past to record low water levels. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
  • Drought reveals ancient 'hunger stones' in European river
    On of the so called "hunger stones" exposed by the low level of water in the Elbe river in Decin, Czech Republic, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. The low level of water caused by the recent drought has exposed some stones at the river bed whose appearances in history meant for people to get ready for troubles. They are known as the "hunger stones" and they were chosen in the past to record low water levels. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
  • Drought reveals ancient 'hunger stones' in European river
    People visit one of the so called "hunger stones" exposed by the low level of water in the Elbe river in Decin, Czech Republic, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. The low level of water caused by the recent drought has exposed some stones at the river bed whose appearances in history meant for people to get ready for troubles. They are known as the "hunger stones" and they were chosen in the past to record low water levels. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
  • Drought reveals ancient 'hunger stones' in European river
    People visit one of the so called "hunger stones" exposed by the low level of water in the Elbe river in Decin, Czech Republic, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018. The low level of water caused by the recent drought has exposed some stones at the river bed whose appearances in history meant for people to get ready for troubles. They are known as the "hunger stones" and they were chosen in the past to record low water levels. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Explore further

Salmon swim again in Czech Elbe river

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Citation: Drought reveals ancient 'hunger stones' in European river (2018, August 23) retrieved 10 December 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-drought-reveals-ancient-hunger-stones.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1222 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments