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How much longer will the Lying Stones keep their secret?
In 1725 the personal physician to the Prince Bishop, Dr. Johannes Bartholomäus Adam Beringer of Würzburg, collected up to 2000 >figure stones< supposedly found on a mountain near Eibelstadt.
These strange stones taken from local soil were supposed to >bring just as much fame to his Franconian fatherlands as the sweet juice of the grape from Würzburg´s fields had afforded until then<.


Around 400 of the stones can still be admired today in museums and collections. The many legends surrounding them and their origin are evidence of unwaning interest.
Whether Doctor Beringer danced at the wedding of the now famous Balthasar Neumann in June 1725 is uncertain. However, he definitely did watch the firework display on the River Main in July 1725.
What is disputed is the question of whether Balthasar Neumann, like Doctor Beringer, also purchased figure stones.


The passionate natural scientist Dr. Johann Adam Bartholomäus Beringer, professor at the University of Würzburg and chief doctor at the Juliusspital hospital in Würzburg, bought around 2000 >figure stones< from lads in Eibelstadt between June and November 1725.
As much as his beloved Franconian home provided its residents with wine-covered hills and fertile ground in an almost extravagant way, nature had until then been sparing with valuable fossil treasures.


But then he discovered the >greatest treasure chamber in Germany< Here there were little birds, butterflies, beetles, bees, wasps, flies, fish, frogs, worms, snails, leaves, flowers, stars, comets with fiery trails... even stones with Latin, Hebrew and Arabic lettering.


Together with his student, the future doctor Ludwig Huber, he presented the wondrous figure stones to the the academic world in spring 1726 as extraordinary yet genuine fossils in a scientific study considering the theories of the time. But things turned out differently!
Despite his efforts, not every one of his contemporaries could be convinced by his theory of >divine providence< or of a >special freak of nature<.


No, some of the stones were evidently man-made in front of witnesses.
And the many others? The case has not yet been solved, but the stones nevertheless became famous.
They went down in history as >Lying Stones< and became known worldwide as the first scientific hoax.


>We all make mistakes, just in different ways.<


Martius, 1795


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