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Modern Mysteries

France stumped by mystery rock inscription

By T.K. Randall
May 10, 2019 · Comment icon 14 comments

This unassuming French town is home to a perplexing mystery. Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 Moreau.henri
A village in France is offering a cash reward to anyone who can decipher a strange message carved in to a rock.
Situated on a remote beach near the village of Plougastel, the enigmatic inscription features a peculiar combination of reverse, upside-down and foreign lettering that nobody has been able to decipher.

One of the few readable sections of the writing includes two dates - 1786 and 1787 - suggesting that the message was written a few years before the French Revolution.

The text is also accompanied by the image of a ship with sails, as well as a sacred heart symbol.

Some historians have suggested that the writing might have something to do with the construction of naval defenses in the nearby area, however it remains impossible to know for sure.
"We've asked historians and archaeologists from around here, but no-one has been able to work out the story behind the rock," said the town's mayor, Dominique Cap.

"So we thought maybe out there in the world there are people who've got the kind of expert knowledge that we need. Rather than stay in ignorance, we said let's launch a competition."

A reward of 2000 Euros ( $2,248) is now being offered to anyone who can solve what has become officially known as "The Champollion Mystery at Plougastel-Daoulas."

A (French) news report featuring close-up images of the inscription can be viewed below.

Update: French rock inscription mystery finally solved

Source: BBC News | Comments (14)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Jon the frog 5 years ago
Yep interesting proposition, do you know any other picture of other  practice stone ? Could solve other strange inions found's a way simple solution.
Comment icon #6 Posted by pbarosso 5 years ago
well, no i dont but its the most plausible explanation. imo
Comment icon #7 Posted by Saru 4 years ago
Mystery solved:
Comment icon #8 Posted by Robotic Jew 4 years ago
I'm disappointed that there was no doomsday prophecies or recipes for human consumption jotted down by aliens...
Comment icon #9 Posted by Eldorado 4 years ago
"A mysterious set of carvings on a rock face in France has finally been revealed as a deion of a tragic death at sea. "The inion on rock in Plougastel-Daoulas, North West France, refers to a dying sailor, called Serge, more than 230 years ago. "A competition to translate the carvings, which date from about 230 years ago, was launched by local authorities back in May. "Now the inion, which is marked with the dates 1786 and 1787, has finally been unscrambled thanks to the competition." Full story at the UK Mail: [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Grimscythe 4 years ago
I know I've already said this in another thread, but it's absolutely amazing what the past can tell us. Cave paintings have told stories for thousands of years; rock carvings the same. And it's withstood time.The way we keep records nowadays is so easily destroyed. Books will rot and crumble, if electricity is ever lost there won't be a digital record, and yet things like this will still be there. 
Comment icon #11 Posted by freetoroam 4 years ago
Could it have been his wife, child or a close relative? Highly likely a local person who knew that area. You would have to be from there to know when to get to the rock.  Maybe there are records somewhere, but unlikely. Quite sad really as someone really missed and cared for him.
Comment icon #12 Posted by jaylemurph 4 years ago
I routinely examine book far older than this inion. Heck, I own several older. I also, not infrequently, handle books 1,000+ years old. They’re not going anywhere and have already survived Vikings, capitalism and digital creep.  —Jaylemurph 
Comment icon #13 Posted by Grimscythe 4 years ago
That's awesome. I was mostly inferring to cheaply made, biodegradable books for the mass-market. Do these last that long as well? I'm totally curious.
Comment icon #14 Posted by third_eye 4 years ago
I do wonder how much of how many books were lost forever because of fungus, insects, humidity rot if not fire...  ~

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