Important findings come to light from the systematic excavations conducted by the Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos, in Kerasia of North Evia.

The Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos undertook the excavation after the decision of the Minister of Culture Mrs. Lina Mendoni.

The first results

The excavation started in October 2022 and continues until today, it has brought to light a large number of fossilized trunks and leafy horizons.

During the excavations, numerous sections of fossilized trunks and deciduous horizons were found in lake sediments.

The excavation is being carried out at the sites where there were indications and has brought to light more than 160 fossilised tree trunks and parts of trees.

In particular, in the first of the fossiliferous areas that have already been excavated, 58 fossilized trunks and large parts of them were discovered and preserved. During the excavation numerous detached log and branch sections were collected and preserved for conservation.

Also in the wider area, parts of petrified logs were collected and 44 leafy horizons with numerous leaves were collected and displayed in the laboratories for their protection, conservation and study.

The new fossil sites that have come to light compose the picture of the subtropical forest that existed in the area during the Miocene period. They are mainly coniferous and broad-leaved trees. The creation of this important natural monument is due to the favourable conditions of fossilisation of the plants covered by sediments. The preservation of the fossils is due to the fact that the process of primary fossilisation took place, i.e. the molecule-by-molecule replacement of plant material by silica. It should be noted that during this process the morphological features of the fossilized trunks (bark, growth rings) are very well preserved. The internal structure of the petrified wood is also very well preserved, the microscopic study of which identifies the genus and species of the tree from which they originate.

The promotion of the Petrified Forest of Kerasia is expected to contribute to the stimulation of the area’s visitor numbers and can be a reason for attracting schools for the implementation of educational activities.

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