Saharan Fossilised Forest

fossilised trees from the sahara

Broken pieces of fossilised tree trunks. GPS location: N25-57.750 E11-24.616.

The following fossilised forest remains are found in an area between Ubari and Awaynat, in Fezzan, South-West Libya. The petrified trees are millions of years old, dating back to the time when the Sahara was lush-green. The forest can be reached via the road from Sabha to Awaynat, which is the tarmac road leading to Ghat from Sabha. A petrified forest of giant trees was also discovered in an area west of Nalut, Nafousah Mountain. These fossilised trees are said to be at least 20 meters tall, dating to the same period from which Nalut's dinosaur fossils date - between 90 and 95 million years ago.  A third site is also found in North Central Libya, near As-Sahabi River site, also rich in fossils of past Saharan life. For a photo of these trees please see Professor Noel Boaz's paper about As-Sahabi Valley at https://www.temehu.com/Wild-life-in-sahara.htm


petrified tree trunks from the Sahara in southern Libya

What appears to be nearly complete fossilised tree trunk. GPS Location: N25-57.750 E11-24.616



petrified tree trunks from the Sahara

Close up of a fossilised tree trunk.



petrified tree trunks

Broken pieces of petrified tree trunk.



petrified tree trunks

Human-made sculpture of a standing petrified tree trunk.


Stone tools made of fossilised wood were found in various regions of the Sahara, The tools, some of which look like stone flints, were dated to the Acheulian period and the Neolithic periods of  the North African Capsian Culture.

Some of the examples found are large petrified log sections, preserving all the characteristics of wood such as  texture and knots, while some of the petrified wood tools and logs were of the Bifacial Willowleaf type, measuring about 13.2 by 6.6 centimetres.

The examples from Algeria in North Africa come from the petrified woods found near In Salah. The petrified tree samples found in the Western Desert (the Libyan Desert) in Egypt were said to date from the Oligocene epoch, or around 35 million years ago.

Among the largest fossilised forest to be found in the world so far are Arizona's Petrified Forest National Park in America, and the petrified forest of Lesbos in Greece.