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15 June, 2024
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Never before seen archeological treasures resurfacing thanks to the drought

Dinosaur prints, old bones and hunger stones are just a few of the incredible finds so far

Source: Euronews

Europe is experiencing its worst drought in at least 500 years.

Landscapes across Europe and beyond are being altered as forest fires, melting glaciers and other disasters threaten to wipe out entire regions.

But as these terrains change, new discoveries are surfacing. Lately, droughts have been drying up river beds across the globe, exposing never before seen archaeological treasures.

Here are some of the most incredible finds so far.

Serbia: Nazi warships along the Danube

A fleet of Nazi warships has resurfaced along the Danube river in Serbia. The Danube is Europe’s second largest river, but this year has approached record low water levels caused by drought.

Spain: The Dolmen of Guadelperal

Dubbed ‘Spanish Stonehenge’ the Dolmen of Guadelperal has been exposed due to receding waters. The stone circle, which dates back to 5,000 BCE was submerged in 1963 due to flooding caused by one of General Franco’s rural development projects. Since then, it has only been visible four times. But with the Iberian Peninsula the driest it’s been in the past 1,200 years, more sightings could be on the horizon in the future.

The Dolmen of Guadelperal is dubbed ‘Spanish Stonehenge’.SUSANA VERA/REUTERS

Germany: Hunger stones along the Rhine

In Germany, so-called “hunger stones” have surfaced along the River Rhine. These kinds of rocks are traditionally found in Central Europe, with engravings to commemorate famine and other hardships. Dates visible on the most recently discovered stones include 1947, 1959, 2003 and 2018. They are said to act as low-level water warnings to future generations. 

Hunger stones revealed on the Rhine RiverTILMAN BLASSHOFER/REUTERS

Italy: A WWII bomb in the Po

As the waters of Po shrank amid devastating drought, Italy discovered an unexploded World War II bomb. Experts in the Italian Army detonated the find securely. In other areas, the water level dropped so low that the ruined walls of a medieval town emerged.

WWII bomb safely detonated in ItalyITALIAN ARMY/via REUTERS

Iraq: Mitanni Empire's lost city

In Iraq, an entire city from the Bronze Age has been discovered in Mosul Dam. The Kemune archaeological site dates back around 3,400 years and was once an important city in the Mitanni Empire. The discovery took place as a result of the draining of Mosul Dam’s reservoir, in an effort to save dying crops. Iraq is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change.

The Kemune archaeological site dates back around 3,400 years.Universities of Freiburg and Tübingen, KAO

China: Island discovery in the Yangtze

China has been making discoveries in dried-up rivers too as the country faces a 70-day heatwave and ongoing drought. With water levels of Yangtze plummeting, an entire island has emerged, with three ancient statues.

Statues revealed as water levels recede in the Yangtze - Reuters

China's largest freshwater lake, Poyang lake, has also reached levels usually seen in the low season at the earliest date since records began in 1951. On 19 August, it was measured at just 9.87 meters.

Satellite images released by earth imaging company Planet Labs PBC show how a previously lush, green section near the village of Zhupaoshan has dried to shades of brown.

Meanwhile, as the Jialing River approaches record low water levels, the Qiansimen Bridge stands tall over a dry river bed.

Receding waters in the Jialing River expose the central pillar of the Qiansimen Bridge. THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

UK: Crystal Palace dinosaur sculptures

In Crystal Palace in the UK, park visitors came across newly exposed sculptures of dinosaurs in its lake. Crystal Palace Dinos, an organization that protects these sculptures, said on Twitter that both a lack of rain and a failure to dredge regularly were to blame.

 USA: Dinosaur tracks in Texas

Across the Atlantic, dinosaurs also made their mark this year. In Texas, drought has dried the Paluxey River, revealing impressive dinosaur tracks that have been hidden for 113 million years.

Elsewhere, in Las Vegas, gruesome mafia secrets are being exposed in Lake Mead. As extreme temperatures reduce the lake to just 27 percent capacity, the remains of at least three people have been found - including one of a man with a bullet hole in his head.

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