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Ancient Tree Fossils Unearthed at Phnom Tbeng Heritage Site

Phnom Penh,29 March, 2024: A team from the Department of Heritage Sites under the General Department of Local Communities at the Ministry of Environment has made a remarkable discovery of ancient tree fossils at the Phnom Tbeng Natural Heritage Site, dating back between 251 to 65 million years.

The excavation, which took place from March 19 to March 28, 2024, at Phnom Sruoch within the Phnom Tbeng Natural Heritage Area, involved a collaborative effort that included experts, monks, park rangers, students, and local residents. The team dug 1.5 meters deep, 2 meters wide, and 6 meters long, revealing tree fossils that spanned 3.5 meters in length, multiple pieces of twig charcoal, and leaf fossils embedded in the upper mudstone layer of Phnom Tbeng.

The initial analysis suggests that these fossils hail from the Mesozoic era, specifically the Jurassic to Cretaceous periods, marking a significant prehistoric find. The site's layers of sediment hold stories of an ancient past when dinosaurs roamed the earth and the first birds took to the skies.

This is not the first time the Department of Heritage Sites has struck paleontological gold. The team has previously uncovered marine fossils, bones, ancient animals, and fish remains, contributing immensely to the understanding of Cambodia's geological history.

The Department of Heritage Sites plays a pivotal role in the identification, study, and conservation of natural heritage sites. It works diligently to protect and preserve cultural resources while engaging in the sustainable rehabilitation of these areas. Part of its mission also includes fostering traditions and enhancing the livelihoods of indigenous communities living in proximity to these treasured sites.

This latest find underscores the richness of Cambodia's natural heritage and offers a tantalizing glimpse into the Earth's distant past. Further study of these fossils will provide valuable insights into the planet's evolutionary history and may unlock secrets that have been buried for millennia.

Updates on this discovery and its implications for science and heritage conservation will continue as research progresses.

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