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Electrifying Petrified Wood Discovery on the Island of Lesbos, Greece

The Greek island of Lesbos is notable for it’s Petrifed Wood forest, a protected national monument. The forest is located on the western portion of the island and was formed from the Late Oligocene to Lower–Middle Miocene and consists of  silicified remnants of a sub-tropical forest that going back 20–15 million years ago.

Petrified Forest on the Island of Lesbos, Greece, by C messier – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8926168

Recent discoveries in the rich Petrified Forest have been electrifying. First was the rare discovery of a spectacular 19.5 meter long log , with accompanying roots, branches, and trees, the only found to date in over 25 years of excavations. Weeks later, the excavators uncovered over 150 more petrified wood logs and petrified wood stumps including conifers, fruit producing trees, sequoia trees, pine, palm, cinnamon and oak trees. The finds were all discovered in the same pit.

The excavation team has been working since 2013 excavating along a 20km stretch of highway and have made 15 major finds, but these all pale to this most recent discovery, which was actually the result of a lucky accident. One the excavators notices a leaf in a stretch of the highway about to get asphalted, and halted the road work.

If you are thinking about a post-Covid trip to the island of Lesbos to visit the petrified forest, then check out this website. Just remember that the The removal and transfer of fossilized material is prohibited by law. The forest includes six parks. The fossilized trees include mainly huge sequoias and primitive pine trees in an ecosystem closest to the coniferous forests of North America.

While we haven’t been to Lesbos we do have some of our own spectacular Petrified Wood finds available for sale in our catalog.