A significant site of 14 fossilized trees, evidence of volcanic eruptions in the region 18 million years ago, was unearthed near Sigri last Thursday. The discovery was made during excavations for the construction of a drainage pipeline in the district of Akrochira, in the greater area of the Petrified Forest in Western Lesvos.
Professor Nikos Zouros, director of the Museum of Fossil Forest of Sigri, Lesvos, said to the Athens and Macedonia News Agency: “Impressive tree trunks were found in a very good state of preservation, placed in successive levels, one on top of the other. Among them are large and small tree trunks and branches”.
The excavation continues and is expected in the coming days to fully unearth the fossilized trunks, as well as other fossils for them to be preserved and studied. Specifically, in an area of a few square meters, 14 trunks of large and small coniferous and fruit trees of different eras were discovered. As Mr. Zouros says: “From studying formations in the region, it seems that the site is an example of an ‘ancient valley’”.
According to experts, the new findings are evidence of the violent eruptions that covered Lesvos with volcanic matter 18 million years ago.
The tree trunks were destroyed by the explosive gases of the volcanic eruptions with large quantities of volcanic ash initially covered the vegetation. Heavy rains then caused widespread flooding throughout the region, sweeping along parts of tree trunks together with volcanic ash.Finally giant mudslides blocked the valleys, piling up tree trunks in successive layers where they became fossilized over time.