(ORDO NEWS) — While excavating a rainwater pipe repair site in Lesvos, workers came across petrified trees that had grown here 18 million years ago. This is not the first find on this site. However, this time, 14 stone trunks were found at once on the territory of the so-called Petrified Forest. The Greek reporter portal reports on the find and the history of its appearance.
“The trunks are very well preserved. These are large logs that lay on top of one another like a pile, ”said Professor Nikos Zuros, director of the Sigri Petrified Forest Museum.
He also noted that among the trees there were not only large, but also small trunks. Also, scientists managed to find fossilized large branches. All finds belong to different species: not only conifers, but fruit trees were found here.
Archaeologists believe that the location of the fossils indicates how large-scale volcanic eruptions in this area were 18 million years ago.
Professor Zuros believes that based on the geological formations in this area, there used to be an ancient valley here, in which the plants that died during the eruption grew. The trees were ripped out of the soil by gas explosions and then covered with ash from the volcano.
After that, prolonged downpours flooded the lowland, washing away part of the ash layer and some dead plants. Obviously this led to the flood. Large-scale mudflows blocked the exit from the valley, creating a jam in which trees got stuck and, mixed with water and ash, gradually turned to stone.
This is not the first find in the area, and experts hope that they will be able to find new evidence of ancient volcanic eruptions. The petrified forest on the island of Lesvos received the status of a protected natural monument 37 years ago. The Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos was established on this site after 9 years.
In addition to trees, fossilized remains of mammals have also been found in the area. However, they are much younger than trees. Dating has shown that they are only two million years old. These findings were made just a month ago. Among other things, archaeologists have discovered here the fossilized remains of horses, cattle, antelopes and deer, which used to live in this area.
Fragments of remains and small mammals have been found. On one of the slopes, bones of hare-like animals were found, similar to modern wild rabbits. An interesting fact is that petrified trees are found only on the eastern slope of a natural hill, while animals were found on the eastern one.
“The rich material of the investigated paleontological excavations testifies to the richness of the island’s fauna, reveals important facts about the fauna and ecosystems of the East Aegean Sea and the connection of the islands with the neighboring peninsula of Asia Minor,” said Professor Zuros.
To date, scientists have identified about 500 samples of fossilized plants and animals, but a much larger number of finds of ancient flora and fauna of Lesvos are yet to be recognized by specialists.
Contact us: [email protected]