The Forest under the Road
Fossil finds from the excavation along the new Kalloni-Sigri road
The exhibition has so far been presented in Athens, Mytilene, Sigri, Plomari and Thessaloniki.
Impressive plant fossils that have survived to the present day inside layers of volcanic ash, witnesses of the presence of subtropical ecosystems in the Aegean region 20 million years ago, evidence of violent volcanic eruptions that destroyed and fossilized them in their place of growth, are being presented at the exhibition “The Forest under the Road”, organized by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest. The exhibition presents to the public the results and characteristic new finds from the fossil-bearing sites revealed during excavations for the construction of the new Kalloni - Sigri road.
The exhibition takes the visitors to the field of excavation and the conservation laboratories and gives them the opportunity to learn the secrets of the scientific research, excavation, transportation, preservation and documentation of the finds brought to light by the salvage excavations carried out since 2013.
The excavations curried out by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest have revealed important evidence of the composition of the subtropical forests that grew in Lesvos during the long volcanic period 20 million years ago.
The exhibition presents:
Dozens of petrified tree trunks of the subtropical forests, swept by the shock wave of the explosive volcanic eruptions and the pyroclastic flows that followed.
Rare and interesting finds that include root systems, trunks, branches, roots and leaves of trees. Evidence of the catastrophic volcanic eruptions that destroyed the subtropical forests and created the protected natural monument, like the tree trunk that bears the signs of its violent break by the shock wave of the volcanic eruption, or of the fossilization process, like the lower part of the tree trunk and the root system that remained in their original position, were covered by volcanic ash and were fossilized by the circulation of silica-rich fluids.
Information on the procedures of excavation, conservation, transportation and documentation of the finds, the mapping and promotion of fossil-bearing sites preserved along the Kalloni - Sigri road. The exhibition also includes rich photographic material of all the phases of the promotion and protection of fossils, maps of the visiting fossil-bearing sites, recording instruments, as well as information on the methodology of excavation, transportation, cleaning and conservation of fossils. During the exhibition special educational activities and programs are implemented for school groups of all ages, teachers, university students, but also for special groups of visitors.