By Talia Avakian
May 11, 2019
Credit: FRED TANNEAU/Getty Images

Officials from Plougastel-Daoulas, located in Brittany in northwestern France, are offering a reward to anyone able to decipher an ancient inscription carved on a stone.

The stone and its inscription, which is believed to be centuries old, have remained a mystery to experts who are now calling on the public to assist in figuring out what it means.

"There are people who tell us that it's Basque and others who say it's old Breton; but we still have not managed to decipher the text," mayor of Plougastel-Daoulas Dominique Cap told AFP.

Now, authorities are calling on linguists, historians, students, academics, and anyone with an interest in cracking the message to decipher it for a prize of 2,000 euros (about $2,250).

The message on the stone, which locals sometimes compare to the historic Rosetta Stone, can only be seen at low tide, when the waves of the Atlantic Ocean calm to allow the large-sized rock to appear. The rock is roughly equivalent to the size of a person and includes photos of a sailing boat and the dates that include 1786 and 1787 and the large inscription.

French local councillor in charge of small heritage Michel Paugam poses on May 7, 2019 as he shows inscriptions composing indecipherable words on a rock in the Brittany village of Plougastel-Daoulas.
| Credit: FRED TANNEAU/Getty Images

According to AFP, parts of the inscription read, “"ROC AR B... DRE AR GRIO SE EVELOH AR VIRIONES BAOAVEL... R I OBBIIE: BRISBVILAR... FROIK...AL," a message that has left officials in the area stumped.

The city launched a national call with a 2000 euros reward to anyone able to solve the mystery of those inscriptions propably made during the 18th century.
| Credit: FRED TANNEAU/Getty Images

The dates do reveal some context, though.

"These dates correspond more or less to the years that various artillery batteries protected Brest and notably Corbeau Fort, which is right next to it," Veronique Martin, who is running the competition, told the news agency.

The public are invited to submit their suggestions through the end of November. Once entries are in, a jury will determine which response is the most plausible and award the prize.

According to local French publication Le Parisien, more than a thousand emails have already come in, with those who are interested invited to contact