The Centro di Paleontologia Vegetale was realized at the end of the 1990s to support the study activities of Dunarobba Fossil Forest, reconstructing its geological, climatic and Fauna characteristics through the finds, illustrative panels and scale models.
The Fossil Forest was discovered at the end of the 1970s, inside a clay pit for the production of construction bricks.
About fifty trunks, remnants of gigantic conifers that are currently visible, constitute an exceptional and rare evidence of some of the Flora species that characterized this area of the Italian peninsula in the arch of time spanning between 3 and 2 million years ago, i.e. in the geological era known as Pliocene. In large part still covered by sediment, this ancient forest indicates environmental conditions that are fundamentally different from that of present days, also characterized by a sensibly warmer climate.
The conservation of the trunks in their original position during life and the almost complete preservation of the characteristics of the original wood are reasonably ascribable to a gradual and then permanent burialstatus, which happened in a swampy area on the banks of a vast lake. Furthermore, the area underwent a gradual collapse, i.e. a geological phenomena known as S ubsidence.
It is the peculiarity of this paleontological site that makes it a naturalistic monument, which is unique in the world and of great scientific relevance. During the years since the discovery, the Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of Umbria has started a long lasting work of documentation for studying,
safeguarding and conserving this paleontological site.
Nowadays, the major efforts are aimed at contrasting the decay of the wood, a process that takes place due to atmospheric agents, main cause of the degradation.