The fossil wood types There are several types of fossilization which vary depending on the site in which this process occurs. This will result in different qualities of fossil wood. Some soils are dry, other types marshy and others were flooded and covered by water. The three main types of fossil wood they generate are: petrified, mummified and submerged.

The most famous petrified fossil forest is certainly the one in Arizona, United States. The mummified fossil wood, instead, comes to a fossilization through a mummification of the internal structure of the wood, which takes place thanks to the total absence of oxygen. In this case the wood is extracted from riverbeds and thus belongs to the submerged “fossil” wood family.

The first studies on the fossil wood were made by Francesco Stelluti belonging to the Accademia dei Lincei around ‘400. So this detail highlights the fact that, even if it’s very old, this material has been studied only in the modern era.




The fossil wood preservation process of  Abonos is unique because, although it is the result of an underwater storage, it manages to keep its properties and at the same time it increases its hardness.

We can find its deposits in the area of the river Sava, which represents the northwest border to the Balkan Peninsula. This river has many tributaries that reach the Southern Alps, the Pannonian plains and north east Mount Dinara. The rivers of this area were often subject to large-scale floodings. Many layers of sand and gravel accumulated in the floodplains and that’s why this particular type of wood has been covered for so many years.It can be defined as subfossil: the term refers to the fact that there has been a prolonged storage of the wood without the alteration of its properties. This storage under low oxygen levels starts a genuine fossilization. The wood is not therefore totally fossilized, but it’s still influenced by the substances present in the water. Those trees that began their lives on the banks of the river were at a lower level compared to the flood waters.

Clods of earth collapsed and they fell dragged by the force of the waterflow. The floating sediments were transported downstream and then settled with the lowering of the water and sealed in the earth banks, gravel and sand. The low oxygen environment retained them for a long time, until they had been brought to light again. Understanding the process of conservation of this wood transmits the observer its value, rarity and importance. Each trunk is not only raw material for works of the highest quality, but also a piece of history of the area from which it was taken.