Petrified Log of Wood

$372.82

A large log of petrified wood, beautifully polished to reveal its growth rings and subtle hues of white, brown and yellow.

This perhaps is an example of an Araucarioxylon arizonicum, a conifer that is the state fossil of Arizona. Petrified wood of this type is so abundant in the Arizonian National Park that it is referred to as the Petrified Forest National Park. Petrified Araucarioxylon is often from the Triassic or Permian Era, between 280 and 225 million years old.

The predominantly white colouring of this artefact is due to the quartz. Quartz makes up the majority of the petrified wood stone, and is actually white or transparent – the presence of impurities is responsible for the beautiful spectrum of colours associated with petrified wood. This is the case for petrified wood generally. The yellow and brown hues here indicate the presence of hydrated iron oxide. Other colours point to the presence of other impurities. For example, black suggests the presence of iron sulphate.

 

Date: Between 280 and 225 million years old
Period: Permian - Triassic Period
Condition: Fine condition, this piece has been placed upon a felt base. A horizontal crack be seen across the body.

SOLD

SKU: AF-65 Category: Tags: ,

Petrified wood comes from many different geological eras. In theory, a tree can turn to stone in century or less, however these samples will not have the required hardness that you’ll find in older samples of petrified wood- they can be easily destroyed with slight pressure.  The majority of petrified wood we have today is much older, most often coming from the Permian Age (c. 285 – 250 million years ago) and the Carboniferous Age (360-299 million years ago) – both of which fall within the Paleozoic Era.

In order to become ‘petrified’, the original tree would had to have been buried deep enough to fully decay, while also being deprived of oxygen. The plant material would become filled with mineral rich groundwater, which would eventually harden into the sedimentary rock as seen in this fine example. In essence, the inorganic materials we see here (namely different forms of silica, like Quartz, and impurities like iron oxide) would take over the tree’s original organic structure, building an exact rock copy.

 

Weight 10000 g
Dimensions L 30 x W 27.6 x H 40.6 cm
Reference: For a similar item see Christie's, Auction 18818, Lot 89

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