To home page On the banks of the Elbe in the Czech Republic, the “hunger stones” have reappeared. They are the symbol of an extraordinary drought.
“If you see me, cry!” Here is the inscription on a “hunger stone” that resurfaced this summer in the city of Děčín, Czech Republic, RTL Nieuws correspondent Olaf Koens revealed on August 11.
Other stones have reappeared in several places along the Elbe. This river originates in the Czech Republic and then crosses Germany before emptying into the North Sea.
These stones, which are submerged most of the time, reappear during periods of intense drought. This message was engraved during the drought of 1616.
In addition to this warning, several dates are engraved on this stone, ranging from 1417 to 1893. Czech researchers conducted a study on the “Stones of Hunger” in 2013 and specified: “Before 1900, the following droughts are commemorated on Stone: 1417, 1616, 1707, 1746, 1790, 1800, 1811, 1830, 1842, 1868, 1892 and 1893″.
These stones are the symbol of moments of suffering, times when the threat of famine was great and harvests were poor. They serve as a kind of hydraulic level marker and are evidence of past droughts.
Recent droughts in Europe have made the “hunger stones” visible again in some Czech and German rivers. These stones were used to mark desperately low river levels that foretold famines. This one in the Elbe dates from 1616 and says: “If you see me, cry”#archaeostories pic.twitter.com/rkPDVw7uPx
— ArchaeoHistories (@arch_histories) August 14, 2022
A more severe drought than 2018
One of the “hunger stones” that came out of the water during the 2018 drought in Germany was commented on by the environmental association Greenpeace. They warn future generations with this caption, “If you see me, it’s a climate crisis. August 2018”.
INFOGRAPHICS. Drought, fires, heat wave… how the summer of 2022 broke all records
But the drought of 2022 appears to be impressively severe. Andrea Toreti is Senior Researcher at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. He said in an online press conference on the 2022 drought on August 9: “We have not yet fully analyzed the event as it is still ongoing, but based on my experience I think it may be even more extreme than 2018,” reports EuroNews.