Exciting discovery on the plateau: 160 million-year-old fossil tree remains found

160 million-year-old fossil tree remains were found on the Edire plateau, in the town of Gümüşhane in Dörtkonak.

The Edire plateau, which is located 18 kilometers from the city center and is connected to the center at an altitude of 2,300 meters above sea level, has a lake called ‘Bottomless Lake’ and a large number of small ponds . Scientists went on an expedition in June last year in the region, which is also called the ‘Second Lakes Region’ of Gümüşhane and is home to many endemic plants and living species.


Recep Tayyip Erdogan University (RTEU) Faculty of Engineering Head of the Department of Geological Engineering Prof. Dr. Raif Kandemir and Karadeniz Technical University (KTU) Member of the Faculty of Marine Sciences of Sürmene Assoc. Dr. In the field study conducted by Coşkun Erüz; A large number of fossilized tree remains were found, which are whole and scattered about 1 meter in diameter. The fossil samples, which were determined to be 160 million years ago, were taken to the Department of Forest Botany at the Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Forestry at Istanbul University. Dr. Ünal was sent to Akkemik.


In the exhaustive examination of the preserved fossils despite millions of years; The fossils were determined to belong to the ‘Jurassic’ period, known as the period in which the dinosaurs lived, and their age spanned approximately 160 million years. The fossils also uncovered two new species of coniferous trees that lived 160 million years ago and are now completely extinct. In the fossils that shed light on geological history, finds were also found of a species of the ‘Arokarya’ tree found in the southern hemisphere. With the discovery that illuminates important information about nature, the climate and the earth; Fossilized trees in Turkey were recorded in the region where the oldest examples are found. Scientific studies in the region will continue in 2021. The findings obtained as a result of the research will be introduced into the international literature.



Claiming that it was the first time he discovered that fossils dating back millions of years ago were found in and around Gümüşhane during his doctoral study, Prof. Dr. Raif Kandemir pointed out that the fossils they found belonged to trees. Kandemir, “These are trees that belong to the ‘Jurassic’ paleogeography. Our work on fossils continues. We are conducting the study together with Prof. Dr. Ünal Akkemik from the Faculty of Forestry of the Cerrahpaşa University in Istanbul. Unal Hodja states that it is possible that new species will be produced present in their descriptions, it states that there may be fossils in the hemisphere that are not in the northern hemisphere, but also lived before, but are not alive now, in that sense this region is of great importance.


Stating that the fossil trees belong to the period between 160 and 170 million years, Prof. Dr. Kandemir said: “When you say ‘Jurassic’, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is Jurassic Park. We can find fossils of plants that actually lived at the same time with the dinosaurs here. In this sense it is very valuable and definitely needs to be protected. When you look at it only in terms of fossils, Gümüşhane and the geography of Anatolia “The areas where these tree fossils are found ancient Jura “are very limited. There is one in Erzurum Oltu and another in Gümüşhane. You can find fossil trees that reach a diameter of about 1 meter in very serious large structures in Gümüşhane. So it is a valuable region.” In terms of recreation, arrangements can be made in terms of recreation and in terms of raising awareness of earth sciences in terms of fossils, this area should definitely be protected and incorporated into tourism to the region. “


Participating in the expedition at Edire Plateau, Assoc. Dr. Coşkun Erüz pointed out that the lakes in the region where the fossils were found were formed by landslides. Erüz said: “The region has a magnificent geography and a very beautiful landscape, it has a quota of 2,300 meters and its surroundings are plateaus. In terms of flora, it is a geography covered with plants of the highlands called alpine prairie, but it also contains plants and animal species that belong to the aquatic habitat because it is a wetland. Gümüşhane is a region with high endemism. If we look at it comprehensively, it is an important ecological and geological value that should be taken under protection within the scope of ‘Site Natural ‘like a field of approximately 1000 hectares due to its wetland, high endemic flora and geological feature We see, ”he said.


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