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The Botanic Palaeontology Centre of the Fossil Forest in Dunarobba

The Botanic Palaeontology Centre of the Fossil Forest in Dunarobba

The Botanic Palaeontology Centre has been set up at the end of 1990s to support the research and study activity on the Fossil Forest in Dunarobba, by reconstructing its geological and climatic features but also its wildlife through findings, explanatory panels and scale models. 


The Fossil Forest came to light at the end of 1970s, inside a clay quarry intended for the production of common bricks. The currently visible remnants of about 50 trunks of giant conifers represent an exceptional and rare example of some types of plants featuring this sector of the Italian peninsula during the period of time between 3 and 2 millions of years ago, that is in the geological period known as Pliocene.



This ancient forest, much of it still buried by sediment, indicates environmental conditions that are significantly different from the current ones, characterised by a substantially warmer climate.

The preservation of the trunks in a living position and the almost total maintenance of the characteristics of the original wood are reasonably attributable to a continuous and gradual burial within a marshy area located on the shores of a large lake. Moreover, the area was subject to a gradual sinking, i.e. a geological phenomenon known as subsidence.

The particular characteristics of this paleontological site make it a unique naturalistic monument of great scientific importance.
In the years following its discovery, the Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of Umbria began a long documentation work aimed at studying, safeguarding and preserving the paleontological site.

Currently, the greatest efforts are aimed at combating the decay of the petrified wood by atmospheric agents, the main cause of degradation.


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