A government body responsible for managing the Rhodope Mountain Range National Park (RMRNP) in northeastern Greece announced on Thursday the discovery of a petrified forest, which it claimed could be older than the one in Lesvos.
Stavros Kehagioglou, president of the Management Body of the Rhodope Mountain Range, said researchers discovered fossils of leaves and tree trunks measuring several meters inside the park which point to the existence of a large and significant petrified forest.
The findings were sent to the Geology and Paleontology Department of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens which verified that the fossils were petrified wood. In its report, the University said they constitute “an important finding of palaeo-vegetation of the area which should be studied more systematically and analytically”, noting they are “unique findings, possibly older that the petrified forest of Lesvos”.
In the same report the University noted that the form of deposits and the existing literature on the area one could assume that the deposition took place between 34 and 14 million years ago, adding however that this chronology is an estimation and has not been verified.