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The Petrified Forest Hall

This exhibition room includes sections of petrified tree trunks that were found broken off and were removed in the museum for protection 

Detail – In the first division of the “Petrified Forest” exhibition room, the evolution history of plants on Earth is presented

Detail – In the second division of the “Petrified Forest” exhibition room, the palaeo-flora of the Lesvos Petrified Forest is presented

Detail – Fossilised tree trunks, branches, leaves and leaf-imprints, fruits and root systems are exhibited in front of large reconstructions of the plants they represent.

Detail – The fifth division of the “Petrified Forest” exhibition room includes the first indications of animal presence in the Lesvos Petrified Forest.

Detail - This exhibition room includes sections of petrified tree trunks that were found broken off and were removed in the museum for protection

Detail – Sections of petrified tree trunks that were found on the seafloor

Detail – Guiding through the exhibition rooms by scientific staff of the museum

The first section of the Petrified Forest Hall exhibition begins with the appearance of the planet’s first single cell organisms 3.5 billion years ago and follows through to developed plant life and the creation of the Petrified Forest.

The second section contains fascinating fossil remains of over 40 different species found and identified in the broader area of western Lesvos. Petrified trunks, branches, twigs, impressive petrified leaves, leaf imprints, fruit and roots are displayed in front of large-sized pictorial depictions of the plants they represent. Palm, cinnamon, laurel, lime, beech, yew, cypress and sequoia are just some of the species presented in this exhibition.
Visitors can also visit field sites via huge screens and watch segments of research work in the Petrified Forest.

The third section is dedicated to the marine part of the Petrified Forest. On display are impressive petrified trunks which, following their retrieval from the marine region of the western Lesvos park, have been preserved and aesthetically reconstructed.

The fourth section is composed of characteristic fossilized plants from other important fossil bearing sites in Greece (Kymi and Aliveri on Evia Island, Vegora, Elassona, Santorini, and Halkidiki).

The fifth section contains the first proof of the existence of animals which lived in the Petrified Forest, such as the fossil jawbone of a dinothere (Predinotherium bavaricum), a trunked ancestor of the elephant from the region of Gavatha, Antissa dating back 20 million years. This find constitutes one of the oldest fossils of a vertebrate in Greece and is particularly rare in Europe. This fossil is the first positive proof of the simultaneous existence of this rare species in Africa and Europe.

A special display case holds an exhibit donated to the museum by the Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios I in June 2001. On display are the branches and leaves of plants from Agia Paraskevi in Halkidiki which have been preserved through the phenomenon of calcification.

The exhibit concludes with a presentation on Theophrastus who was born on Lesvos. Theophrastus was a philosopher and student of Aristotle and is considered the father of minerology, botany and ecology. His works “about rocks” and “about plant history” contain the first known references to the Petrified Forest.

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