Drought in Central Europe reveals messages from the past.

Picture of Hunger Stone1

By Richard Workman

2018 has been an unusually dry year for Europe. But what has been a worrying time for the continent’s farmers has conversely been a boon for archaeologists.

Low water levels on the River Elbe has revealed boulders known as “Hunger stones”. The river Elbe flows from the Czech Republic through Germany.

An article on the National Public Radio website reports that one of the stones is incribed with the chilling message, “Wenn du mich siehst, dannn weine”, which literally translates as “When you see me then weep”.

The Stones date back to Europe’s droughts in centuries gone by an warn of hardship and high food prices to come.

Picture of a Hunger Stone
Petr David Josek/AP

While late summer has brought some relief from the seemingly never-ending dry heat, the hunger stone serve to remind us of the hardship suffered by past generations. Analysis by a team of Czech researchers looking into the Climate of the past, revealed that central Europe suffered many “mega droughts”, many of which lead to human displacement and even death.

The stones send a very clear message, a warning that we would do well to heed.

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