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'If you see me, weep': Europe's histsoric drought uncovers centuries-old macabre warnings

New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Moohita Kaur GargUpdated: Aug 17, 2022, 01:31 PM IST
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The Elbe River, which flows from the Czech mountain range through Germany to the North Sea, has one of these stones. It is from a drought in 1616 and is once more visible in the dried-up riverbed. The lines "Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine" are engraved into it. The lines can be translated to "If you see me, weep." Photograph:(Twitter)

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Europe's current drought is undoubtedly historic. Sky News reported that according to researchers at the European Drought Observatory, it is expected to be the worst in 500 years

As water levels across Europe's major rivers drop to dangerous levels with the region suffering a historic drought, centuries-old warnings of hardship have emerged in what could be a harbinger of hard times ahead.

These macabre warnings come in the form of boulders, inscribed with stories of past tragedies and predictions of future ones. The boulders are called "Hungersteine" or "Hunger stones".

As per NPR, hunger stones were used as "hydrological landmarks" across central Europe.

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The Elbe River, which flows from the Czech mountain range through Germany to the North Sea, has one of these stones. It is from a drought in 1616 and is once more visible in the dried-up riverbed.

The lines "Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine" are engraved into it. The lines can be translated to "If you see me, weep."

As per a 2013 study titled 'Droughts in the Czech Lands, 1090–2012 AD', these stones are "chiselled with the years of hardship and the initials of authors lost to history"

“The basic inscriptions warn of the consequences of drought. It expressed that drought had brought a bad harvest, lack of food, high prices and hunger for poor people,” said the researchers.

Europe's current drought is undoubtedly historic. Sky News reports that according to researchers at the European Drought Observatory, it is expected to be the worst in 500 years.

The drought observatory reports that 47 per cent of Europe is experiencing drought alert conditions while another 17 per cent of the area is under alert. The dry weather is even having an impact on the local vegetation.

(With inputs from agencies)

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