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Read about the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest on

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The Evolution of the Aegean Hall

Dark purple crystals of the mineral amethyst, formed inside empty spaces of volcanic rocks 

Detail – Interactive explanation of the lithospheric convergence process in the Eastern Mediterranean area, presented in the “Evolution of the Aegean” exhibition room.

Detail – Section of a volcano

Detail – Various vocalic types

Detail – Impressive columnar lavas from the volcanic dome of Odrymnos

Detail - Dark purple crystals of the mineral amethyst, formed inside empty spaces of volcanic rocks

In the second hall, the "Evolution of the Aegean" presents the 20 million year long geological story of the Aegean basin, highlighting geological phenomena and processes that helped create the Petrified Forest.

In the first exhibit unit, visitors are introduced to the Earth system, planet structure and more specifically to the structure of the fragile and evolving lithosphere on which life developed. The movement of tectonic plates is presented on a global scale and in relation to the creation of volcanoes. Next, the focus is on the process of the lithospheric plate conjunction in the east Mediterranean, the subduction of the African tectonic plate south of Crete, the transfiguration of the extended region and the creation of the active volcanic arc of the Aegean.

The second unit follows the geotectonic evolution of Greece, from the period of the Tethyan Ocean up to the Aegida landmass.

The third unit presents impressive minerals and rocks that constitute the structural elements of the Earth’s crust, continental and oceanic. Particular emphasis is given to the presentation of natural forms of quartz (SiO2), the mineral that is related with the process of petrification of plants and the creation of the Petrified Forest. Impressive forms of quartz are displayed, such as rock crystal, smoky quartz, amethyst, chalcedony, rose quartz, and the unique “prassios” of Serifos Island.

The fourth unit is dedicated to volcanic activity. A representation of the main volcanic center of Lesvos dominates the exhibit. The presentation also includes the different types of volcanoes, volcanic explosions and their products as well as impressive samples of volcanic rocks.

The fifth unit is dedicated to the geological structure and the rocks of Lesvos. Impressive samples of rocks are displayed as well as the stratigraphy of volcanic formations in western Lesvos. Fossilized trunks, roots, fruits, leaves and seeds lie perfectly preserved within these volcanic rocks.

The sixth unit is dedicated to the palaeogeographic development of the Aegean and to the changes that happening to the morphology of the lithospheric plates. Palaeogeographic representations portray the development of the region from the period of the Aegida landmass up to the creation of the Greek Archipelago. Also presented are forms of eroded rocks from the coastal area of western Lesvos.

Finally the seventh unit is concerned with the current Aegean region with its active volcanoes, seismic faults and the plethora of geological monuments which remind us that the geological processes which led to the creation of the Petrified Forest are still ongoing.

Mr E. Velitzelos, Professor of Palaeobotany and Paleontology at the University of Athens completed the scientific study for the Petrified Forest Hall and Mr D. Mountrakis, Professor of Geology at the University of Thessaloniki, completed the study for the Evolution of the Aegean Hall.

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