Qitai County, Junggar Basin
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China
From an area in northwest China, these are consecutive slices of a beautifully preserved, silicified coniferous log. The petrified wood is truly alive with color—possessing a mix of subtle hues that includes red, orange, tan, brown, white, gray and yellow.
The fossilized conifer log was found in a fluvial deposit in the lower part of the Upper Jurassic – Shishugou Group. The Shishugou Group gets its name ("stone tree valley") from the many petrified forests contained within it. These amazing forests contain abundant silicified tree stumps and logs.
The word "petrified" comes from the Greek word "rock" or "stone". Petrified wood is essentially fossil wood where the organic materials have been replaced by a series of minerals with quartz being predominant. Impurities in the quartz silica, contributes to the color variation. This process takes place underground in an oxygen free environment where mineral rich water flows over the organic sediment deposits.
The location where these specimens come from has recently been designated a Chinese National Park, thereby prohibiting any further collecting. Each slab measuring 39 X 26 X 1 1/4 in (99.1 x 66.0 x 3.2cm)
Provenance: Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles, Natural History, December 10, 2012, Lot 1321.