Droughts reveal forgotten histories around the world

From a submerged town in Spain to the foundations of an ancient temple in China, the global drought is uncovering artifacts and locations once lost. Nazi warships, still laden with explosives, have emerged from the Danube, and several sets of human remains have been found in the muddy flats of the drying Lake Mead in the southwestern U.S.

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  • Geoff Bennett:

    Now we look at an unexpected result of climate change and drought. As the water recedes, some of the world's forgotten histories are being revealed.

    A prehistoric stone circle emerges from a drying up reservoir. For archaeologists in Spain, this summer's drought has meant a rare chance to study the normally submerged rock formation known as the Spanish Stonehenge.

    Enrique Cedillo, Archaeologist, University of Madrid (through translator): It's a collective tomb, burials took place and for more than 2000 years.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    The site is between 4,000 and 7,000 years old, and was first discovered in 1926. It's only been fully visible four times since then. Another shrinking reservoir in western Spain has unearthed an entire village frozen in time. 1992 the year it was flooded to create the reservoir.

    In Italy, the remains of an ancient bridge have appeared in Rome's river Tiber. It's believed to be from the reign of Emperor Nero. On the dwindling Danube River near the Serbian port of Prahovo, dozens of Nazi warships are seeing their first day light since they were sunk during World War II. Many of the warships still have ammunition and explosives on board.

    At the historic Chatsworth estate in England, the scorched lawn has revealed broad ornate patterns in a 17th century garden. The drought isn't just in Europe, China's Yangtze River is at its lowest level since records began there. The receding river has uncovered the base of a 700-year-old temple that normally appears to float on the water, and a trio of 600-year-old Buddhist statues that were once submerged.

    Closer to home, dry conditions across the western U.S. have pushed Nevada's Lake Mead to dangerously low levels and brought to light a host of items, everything from sunken boats to the more grim discovery of human remains.

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