Europe’s drought exposes ancient stones, World War 2 ships as waters fall | Inquirer News

Europe’s drought exposes ancient stones, World War 2 ships as waters fall

/ 11:40 AM August 21, 2022
Europe’s drought exposes ancient stones, World War 2 ships as waters fall

 One of the ‘hunger stones’ is revealed by the low level of water in Worms, Germany, August 17, 2022. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

Weeks of baking drought across Europe have seen water levels in rivers and lakes fall to levels few can remember, exposing long-submerged treasures – and some unwanted hazards.

In Spain, suffering its worst drought in decades, archaeologists have been delighted by the emergence of a prehistoric stone circle dubbed the “Spanish Stonehenge” that is usually covered by the waters of a dam.

ADVERTISEMENT

Officially known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal, the stone circle currently sits fully exposed in one corner of the Valdecanas reservoir, in the central province of Caceres, where authorities say the water level has dropped to 28% of capacity.

Europe’s drought exposes ancient stones, World War 2 ships as waters fall

A World War Two bomb is seen being removed a few days after being discovered in the dried-up river Po which suffered from the worst drought in 70 years, in Borgo Virgilio, Italy on August 7, 2022. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

It was discovered by German archaeologist Hugo Obermaier in 1926, but the area was flooded in 1963 in a rural development project under Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. Since then it has only become fully visible four times.

FEATURED STORIES

Memories of past droughts have also been rekindled in Germany by the reappearance of so-called “hunger stones” along the River Rhine. Many such stones have become visible along the banks of Germany’s largest river in recent weeks.

Europe’s drought exposes ancient stones, World War 2 ships as waters fall

 One of the ‘hunger stones’ revealed by the low level of water in Rheindorf, Germany, August 17, 2022. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

Bearing dates and people’s initials, their re-emergence is seen by some as a warning and reminder of the hardships people faced during former droughts. Dates visible on stones seen in Worms, south of Frankfurt, and Rheindorf, near Leverkusen, included 1947, 1959, 2003 and 2018.

Another of Europe’s mighty rivers, the Danube, has fallen to one of its lowest levels in almost a century as a result of the drought, exposing the hulks of more than 20 German warships sunk during World War Two near Serbia’s river port town of Prahovo.

Europe’s drought exposes ancient stones, World War 2 ships as waters fall

 The dolmen of Guadalperal, also known as the Spanish Stonehenge, is seen due to the receding waters of the Valdecanas reservoir in the outskirts of El Gordo, Spain, August 3, 2022. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

The vessels were among hundreds scuttled along the Danube by Nazi Germany’s Black Sea fleet in 1944 as they retreated from advancing Soviet forces, and still hamper river traffic during low water levels.

Italy has declared a state of emergency for areas around the River Po, and in late July a previously submerged 450-kg (1,000-pound) World War Two bomb was discovered in the low-running waters of the country’s longest river.

Around 3,000 people living near the northern village of Borgo Virgilio, close to the city of Mantua, were evacuated while military experts defused and carried out a controlled explosion of the U.S.-manufactured device earlier this month.

RELATED STORIES

ADVERTISEMENT

Low water levels on Danube reveal sunken WW2 German warships

WW2 bomb revealed in drought-hit waters of Italy’s River Po

2022 sees record Europe wildfire destruction—EU

Europe swelters in record-breaking heatwave

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Click here for more weather related news.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: drought, Europe, Weather
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.