Excavations for rainwater drainage pipes brought to light fourteen petrified trees, in an area near Sigri and the region of Lesvos island’s Petrified Forest.
“The trunks were in a very good state of preservation – they are impressive logs laid on successive strata, one above the other,” said professor Nikos Zouros, director of the Petrified Forest of Sigri Museum, speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.
He said that the fossilized trunks were of both small and large trees, and included branches of the trees as well. They vary in age and are both conifers and fruit-bearing trees.
According to experts, the way the trees lie shows the violence of volcanic eruptions 18 million years ago.
Professor Zouros said that based on the area’s geologic formations, it seems the site of the fossilized trees was part of an ancient valley.
The trees were killed by blasts of gas from the volcanic explosions and then covered by ash.
Extensive heavy rains then flooded the area, sweeping away both the ash and sections of tree trunks. The giant mudflows blocked valleys, and the tree trunks piled up in successive layers, where they became fossilized.
More trees are expected to be found as the digging continues.
The Petrified Forest of Lesvos was declared as a Protected Natural Monument in 1985. The Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest was created in 1994.