Skip to comments.Archaeologists discover 8-million-year-old forest in Hungary
Posted on 08/08/2007 3:09:13 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger
Archaeologists have found an eight-million-year old forest of cypresses, well preserved and not fossilised, in Bukkabrany in north eastern Hungary.
"The discovery is exceptional as the trees kept their wooden structure, they neither turned into coal nor were petrified," Tamas Pusztai, the deputy director and head of the archaeological department at the local Otto Herman museum who oversaw the excavation, told AFP.
Archaelogists announced the find last week after uncovering the mysterious forest of taxodiums, a kind of swamp cypress, after a few days of digging.
Miners working in a brown coal mine had first uncovered several tree trunks that had been turned into coal, a common occurrence in this kind of environment.
"But further down, we found 16 trees that had remained where they had grown some eight million years ago and that are very well preserved," Pusztai said.
Catching a glimpse of these ancient tree trunks, which look like they belong on the set of a science-fiction film, requires descending about 60 metres (200 feet) into a 3,500-square-metre (37,670-square-foot) large open mine.
All that is left of the trees is their trunks, two to three metres in diametre and six metres in height, although the original taxodiums must have reached to between 30 to 40 metres.
"The trunks were preserved in their original form and material," said Miklos Kazmer, the director of the paleontology department at the Loran Eotvos Natural Science University in Budapest. During the Miocene period, which began over 10 million years ago, the region was covered by a giant lake with muddy and marshy shores, Lake Pannon, he added.
"The exceptional state of preservation of the trees is due to a sudden sandstorm which covered the forest (with sand) up to a height of six metres," Kazmer said.
All that was above perished but "the part that was buried under the sand remained beautifully intact," he added.
The eight-million-year old tree trunks still feel like wood to the touch, as an AFP journalist was able to attest for himself.
Although 60 metres underground, the trunks cannot be moved as they "crumble" when exposed to air and sunlight, which are especially harmful given the wood's age, the site's chief archaeologist Janos Veres said.
As a result, strict security measures have been put in place: access to the mine has been limited to journalists and archaelogists, and forbidden to locals from nearby villages, intrigued by images shown on Hungarian television of the "lunar landscape" in their backyard.
The site is to close again soon and the archaelogists have started taking measures to preserve the trees.
Veres said the taxodiums were drying up before his eyes as the trunks "have lost their cellulose, which worked as a glue for the trees' cell membranes."
Since the trunks are made of organic material, it is possible to conduct dendrochronology tests, which study tree rings to determine climatic changes during a tree's life, a visibly enthusiastic Veres said.
The trees were probably 300 to 400 years old when they died "but since the trees did not (all) sprout on the same day, it is possible to study a period spreading over 1,000 to 1,500 years," he added.
A similar forest was already found in Japan, where archaelogists preserved it in a cement sarcophagus.
For the Bukkabrany site, between 40 and 50 million forint (160,000-200,000 euros, 220,000-270,000 dollars) would be needed to preserve the taxodiums, scientists said.
GGG ping, although since it’s also received a creation ping, viewer discretion is advised...
"The exceptional state of preservation of the trees is due to a sudden sandstorm which covered the forest (with sand) up to a height of six metres," Kazmer said. All that was above perished but "the part that was buried under the sand remained beautifully intact," he added.
Makes me want to "put another log on the fire", however I can't afford the carbon credits it would cost me to do it. ; )
Works for mummies and beef jerky; no reason trees would be different.
Amazing. Giant sandstorms in Hungary that long ago. Times have changed, haven’t they? I hope we can see some pictures of these trees.
Why 8 million, why not 80 million - I mean as long as they are playing “Once upon a time” why not more? It’s like the number of uninsured who can’t get health insurance or deaths due to global warming or women dying from back alley abortions just pick a number - the higher the better chance of getting funded!
I thought worship of inanimate objects went out with the Pharaohs.
Now just wait a minute.....
Didn't they do just fine on their own? LOL!
Now we get to the crux of the matter.
dang it, ya beat me to it!
Ohhhh, awwww is all I can say for I am speechless via impression.
organisms that rot wood need water and oxygen. Remove one or the other and wood will not rot. that is why wool piles have held up city buildings for centuries because they are under water blocking oxygen.
When it comes to hard earned labor transference higher numbers ALWAYS generate a greater cash flow.
Even if the numbers aren't there, the perception of importance must be maintained to keep the cash flow. ; )
To all of you who responded, thank you!!! Isn’t that incredible? Anyone curious as to what climate/weather will be revealed by those tree rings? :-)
I'm biting my nails in anticipation..../s
What else do I have to do? LOL!
I always knew wool was tough because it makes me itch..Nyuk Nyuk!
Do you mean wood pilings?
“Yes,” said the Lone Ranger, with a sheepish grin.
There's lots of cases of wood lasting thousands of years in bogs, deep water, buried in sand, etc. If you don't understand how wood decays, you might just want to look into it.
Even if you disagree with the techniques of the measurement system (I assume you do); one must assume that they are actually using the system. Unless of course you think that scientists are the perpetuators of a massive worldwide conspiracy and they are all in on the joke.
That seems to be the prevailing attitude here of late.
Some will do anything to discredit science and scientists because they find the results of some scientific investigations to be inconvenient.
I like ‘truther’ and ‘moon-bat’ myself. You know, the kind of people who think that ‘fire cannot melt steel’, and that thousands of people can all keep a secret.
“Veres said the taxodiums were drying up before his eyes as the trunks “have lost their cellulose, which worked as a glue for the trees’ cell membranes”
Cellulose is what makes wood...wood. If the cellulose is gone, these trees are not in their “original” state as said elsewhere in the article.
“Some will do anything to discredit science and scientists because they find the results of some scientific investigations to be inconvenient.”
That may be true for some, but I don’t think that is a fair generalization. My thinking is that the current paradigm operating in what is called “science” is biased towards evolutionary thought which - as currently understood - requires a very long time to occur.
I think it better to say that I find the conclusions reached by some scientific investigations to be biased and flawed. After years of the prevailing paradigm, I don’t think of them as “inconveinent” at all; just suspect.
No problem. Just show where they are suspect, using the scientific method, and they will eventually change.
My criticism is those who for religious reasons will do anything to discredit science and scientists (and the scientific method) because they find the results of some scientific investigations to be inconvenient to their religious beliefs.
I hope this clarifies.
In the forest they found the body of an 8 million year old boy and an 8 million year old trail of bread crumbs.
Because they counted the rings! :)
Yes, of course, cypress wood will last for 8 million years. /sarc
The wheels aren't just falling of the 'old Earth' wagon, the whole wagon has turned to dust!
too bad the wagon was made out of gopher wood lol
Great point! LOL
The rings of what ? The story stated the trees were probably 300- 400 years old when they died!
:’) No harm done. ;’)
Rare fossilized cypress trees found in Hungary
Reuters | Tue Jul 31, 9:19 AM ET | U/A
Posted on 08/02/2007 11:29:50 PM EDT by Fred Nerks
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Because of Carbon 14 dating. This allows one to determine the age of things here on Earth. This is soemthing that is covered in any freshman Chem, Physics or bio class,
Carbon 14 dating isn’t good beyond about 50,000 or 60,000 years, not 8 million, just fyi.
The absolute limit of c14 dating is around 30,000 years and that assumes a great many things to be constant of which some are known to change.
So what method did they use to date the find? My unscientific guess is the maximus-grant method!
Sorry, that happens not to be the case.
Here are some good links. If you have any questions, let me know.
ReligiousTolerance.org Carbon-14 Dating (C-14): Beliefs of New-Earth Creationists
This site, BiblicalChronologist.org has a series of good articles on radiocarbon dating.
Are tree-ring chronologies reliable? (The Biblical Chronologist, Vol. 5, No. 1)Tree Ring and C14 Dating
How does the radiocarbon dating method work? (The Biblical Chronologist, Vol. 5, No. 1)
Radiocarbon WEB-info Radiocarbon Laboratory, University of Waikato, New Zealand.
As the condescending oracle of all knowledge here are a few questions:
I'll bet you feel sheepish after posting this!
I knew it!
Indeed. There is the science behind evolution and then there is the politics behind evolution.
I especially look forward to #8 being answered. These guys are so locked into their perspective that any questioning of it is seen as a threat and is treated with hostility and disdain “in the name of science” of course, which seems to be about as unscientific an attitude as possible.
That was a joke. Sheesh.
I am not sure what you mean by leaching. I don't know of any reliable technique for removing just one isotope of carbon from a sample, so the ratios (which are what are being measured) should stay the same.
2. C14 is known to be wildly inaccurate when attempting to date things like oyster and clam shells, in what other sample types does c14 dating give erroneous results?
What you are thinking about there is the reservoir effect. Old carbon (deficient in C14) is stored in deep water and when this enters the marine food chain (fish, shellfish, sea mammals, etc.) it causes samples to date hundreds of years too old. It is easy to establish a correction factor in each part of a coastline to account for this by either comparing marine shell samples against charcoal samples, or by dating marine shells collected live (pre-atomic bomb) and establishing the correction from those. What can really be a problem is freshwater shellfish in areas of high limestone, as much of the carbon entering the environment will be devoid of C14. One must also be careful with charcoal samples in area with coal or petroleum, but modern pretreatment techniques are pretty good at removing such contamination. Stable isotopes (C13 and N15) are also used in dealing with what is called fractionation and in estimating the percentage of marine organisms in the diet. For example, people living on the coast will have a percentage of marine organisms in their diet, and this should be established through stable isotopes so that the "reservoir" carbon can be corrected for.
3. How would one verify the c14/c12 ratio at the death of the sample?
One does not verify that in an ancient sample. It is assumed to be the same as that of the atmosphere at the time of death. That assumption has been cross checked in modern samples and has been found to be pretty accurate.
4. Heat has been known to destroy the accuracy of c14 dating on samples of linen, what other processes can give false results?
Contamination is the normal suspect. That is why it is important to date materials that are as clean and contamination free as possible. Also, it is normal to run a large number of samples, not just one. On my last major excavation I ran 31 samples on a variety of materials.
5. If there was a global flood (my assumption) what effect would that have on leaching, heat, c14 concentration, etc.
Check the creationist websites for that. Get ready for a good laugh. The evidence against such a flood is provided by dating tree rings. There is no massive change in tree rings as you cross the approximately 4350 BP date. (The presence of tree ring sequences spanning over 12,000 years is itself evidence against a global flood at about 4350 years ago.)
6. What is the effect of fluctuating cosmic ray intensity on c14 half life? (note: the effects can be significant)
None that I know of. Various things effect the C14 levels in the atmosphere, but not the half-life. The only experiment I ever heard of that altered a half-life was under extreme laboratory conditions.
7. What effect does the decreasing geomagnetic field have on c14 availability?
Different factors can cause fluctuations in the levels of C14 in the atmosphere. These are easily accounted for by radiocarbon dating ancient tree-rings (as they are of a known age) and creating a calibration curve. I believe the calibration curve for the standing dead bristlecone pines from the White Mountains of southern California reaches 12,600 years now. It is sampled in 10-year increments, creating a calibration curve to correct for atmospheric variations. There is a calibration curve for Europe that I believe is on the close order of 25,000 years, but I am not sure of the details on it.
8. When did hubris become mistaken for the humility and discipline of real science?
I invited you to ask questions figuring that you might have a genuine curiosity about the subject. Hope these answers help.