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A volcanic eruption 39 million years ago buried a forest in Peru – now the petrified trees are revealing South America’s primeval history

In the hills outside the small village of Sexi, Peru, a fossil forest holds secrets about South America’s past millions of years ago.

When we first visited these petrified trees more than 20 years ago, not much was known about their age or how they came to be preserved. We started by dating the rocks and studying the volcanic processes that preserved the fossils. From there, we began to piece together the story of the forest, starting from the day 39 million years ago when a volcano erupted in northern Peru. Read more