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New Arrivals at the State Museum of Turkmenistan

New Arrivals at the State Museum of Turkmenistan

The State Museum of the State Cultural Center of Turkmenistan has received new additions - the department of nature and local history. Three fragments of fossil trees. All of them were found on the territory of modern Turkmenistan, and their 40 to 270 million years old.

The formation of these imprints of prehistoric life took place in bogs and lakes, shallow seas, peat bogs and river sediments. With the passage of time, the organic matter mineralized and now we can look at both the woody remains imprinted in the stone and the fossil marine life. If you are lucky, you may also see the complete carcasses of ammonites and sea urchins that have been "imprinted" in the stone.

Two of the three obtained fossilized wood fragments, measuring 18x10 cm and 26.5x13.5 cm, were mineralized by gray limestone. They were found in the territory of Western Turkmenistan (Tuarkyre) and in the southeast of the country (Yeroylanduz depression, Badkhyz plateau) in sediments related to the Paleogene of the Cenozoic era. This period began 66 million years ago and ended 23 million years ago. At that time, the climate of the area was predominantly temperate, belonging to the subtropical zone. The area was characterized by valleys with rich soils, and marshes and forest-steppes were interspersed with humid broad-leaved forests. The transferred objects have small radially placed gaps in the areas where the vessels were located. Annual rings can also be seen. The plants that became fossils belong to the genus Ligwydambar and are large trees with flowers and three-, five-, or seven-lobed leaves. During the Eocene and Oligocene of the Paleogene, this species was a forest-forming species, but climatic changes led to its complete disappearance.

The third fossil is a 10x9 cm section of a tree trunk discovered in western Turkmenistan (Tuarkyr) back in the 1960s. This fossil belongs to the Permian Paleozoic period, which means that its age can reach 270 million years. Since this epoch was characterized by a wide spread of spore plants, this fossil most likely belongs to some kind of tree fern.

The museum received these exhibits from Aman Nigarov, a famous Turkmen paleontologist. Previously they were in his private collection. At the moment, the exhibits are being prepared for display and given an inventory number. As soon as it is completed, the fossils will leave the vault and take their place among the other "representatives" of the exhibition collection.

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