We even have a Fossilised/ Petrified Ebony solid stone sculpture that was dug out of the ground a few years ago. It is approx 70 million years old give or take a year or two!
The fossilisation process happens when a Volcano explodes. A number of mineral substances such as Calcite, pyrite and marcasite can cause petrification, but by far the most common is silica.
Solutions of silica dissolved in water infiltrate the buried wood in the ground and through complex chemical processes are precipitated and left in the wood cells. It is important for there not to be any oxygen present at this point.
Here the silica may take a variety of forms. It may be Agate, Jasper, Chalcedony or Opal.
The beautiful and varied colours of petrification are caused by the presence of other minerals that enter into the wood in solution with silica.
Iron oxide stains the wood orange, rust and yellow.
Manganese oxide produces purple, black and blue.
In the right conditions petrification of the wood can occur very quickly in just a few years.
Once the minerals have replaced all organic matter then the wood will not decompose and like stone will remain for millions of years.
In this beautiful fossilised sculpture you can still see the black and white stripes of the EBONY.