Petrified wood is a fossil in which the organic material has been replaced by minerals in a very slow process turning the tree into stone. Read More
This petrification process generally results in a quartz and agate mineralization. Special rare conditions must be met in order for the fallen tree to be transformed into fossil wood or petrified wood. Petrified wood can be found anywhere in the world.
Prehistoric has a vast collection of petrified wood from areas such as Madagascar, Arizona, Wyoming, Oregon, and Australia. Due to the extreme hardness and stability of most petrified wood, table tops, book ends, and other decorative pieces can be enjoyed with little fear of damaging it. Our collection contains pieces with colors ranging from the fiery reds, to earthy browns and creams, to the rare and beautiful yellows and blues. Arizona petrified wood is highly prized for its brilliance and saturation of color. The real beauty in select pieces is when the trees rings are perfectly preserved.
Silicification is the process in which organic matter becomes saturated with silica. A common source of silica is volcanic material. Studies have shown that in this process, most of the original organic matter is destroyed. Silicification most often occurs in two environments-either the specimen is buried in sediments of deltas and floodplains or organisms are buried in volcanic ash. Water must be present for silicification to occur because it reduces the amount of oxygen present and therefore reduces the deterioration of the organism by fungi, maintains organism shape, and allows for the transportation and deposition of silica. The process begins when a specimen is permeated with an aqueous silica solution. The cell walls of the specimen are progressively dissolved and silica is deposited into the empty spaces. In wood samples, as the process proceeds, cellulose and lignin, two components of wood, are degraded and replaced with silica. The specimen is transformed to stone (a process called lithification) as water is lost. For silicification to occur, the geothermic conditions must include a neutral to slightly acidic pH and a temperature and pressure similar to shallow-depth sedimentary environments. Under ideal natural conditions, silicification can occur at rates approaching those seen in artificial petrification.
Nothing makes a bigger statement than a gorgeous table made of a rare and unique slice of prehistoric wood. Prehistoric offers pieces of petrified wood ranging from 23o millions ago to a more current 8 million years old. Our specimens range in size from palm size to well over 5 foot in diameter slices. Petrified wood will be a warm and beautiful addition to your home or office. Prehistoric will source any special size, color, or style you may need to finish that special project.