18 January 2022

Petrified Wood – Sakaka

Whilst in the Sakaka area recently my family and I went looking for petrified wood in the rough stony desert areas. We knew they had been found here before and were interested to see what they looked like. We did not know where to look bit drove to an off-road location. Here we were approached by a local Bedouin, and we asked him and his son if they knew were we may be able to find some. They very kindly showed us where some very large pieces were, with at least four large trunks seen although they were all broken up to some degree. These fragments are very large and very heavy but we were very glad to have seen them. The drive to them was over very rough ground and a four-wheel drive car would be essential to reach them although as we were following the Bedouin to reach them and get back safely to the road I have no idea where they actually were.  Petrified wood is the name given to wood that has been turned into stone (fossilized). All of the organic matter becomes replaced by minerals, while much of the original structure such as tree rings in retained. For this to happen the wood needs to be buried in an environment both low in oxygen (preventing decomposition) and with flowing, mineral-laden water. The coloration is due to the various minerals that are present during fossilization.