The conservation process

The conservation of plant fossils, part of Subproject 5 “Fossil Research” of the “Construction - upgrade of the Kalloni-Sigri Highway on Lesvos” project, aims to rescue and protect fossils uncovered during excavation works for the construction of the Sigri - Antissa road section.

The purpose of the conservation process carried out by an expert team of conservators and technicians is the preservation of fossils, slowing down decay processes and, in some cases, the restoration of fossil structures, so that they can be understood by the public.

Fossils uncovered in the Petrified Forest, particularly along the new road alignment, include non- movable finds (upright fossilized trees found in their natural growing positions with their root systems in full development) and mobile findings (large segments and fragments of petrified logs lying horizontally within the pyroclastic volcanic rocks, as well as leaves, branches, fruits and fragments of petrified logs found at the surface or in the soil horizon).

Fossils needing conservation can be sorted by various criteria such as the mineral and chemical composition, chronological classifi cation, origin, relation to the whole, manner of discovery, mobility,finding location, geological import, quality and degree of fossilization.


Conservation procedures include:

  1. Identifi cation - Recording of basic features
    These procedures involve the recording the basic identifying features of the fossil, which is necessary for further identification and study.

  2. Diagnostic examination, study and testing
    The following procedures are involved:
    a. Running diagnostic tests and analyses
    b. Investigating records, references, bibliography
    c. Investigating environmental factors
    d. Testing of materials and methods

  3. Diagnosis
    The following procedures are involved:
    a. Conservation status assessment
    -meaning the overall assessment of the fossil and whether any conservation interventions are needed

  4. Development of the conservation methodology
    The following procedures are involved:
    a. Record of conservation proposals
    b. Study of the conservation status
    c. Conservation program
    d. Implementation schedule
    e. Design

  5. Conservation
    The following procedures are involved:
    a. Conservation interventions
    b. Rehabilitation interventions
    c. Preventive conservation work