The Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest was founded in 1994 aiming to the study, research, promotion, exhibition, conservation and protection of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos. It is a legal non-profit entity and is overseen by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
The Museum is located in Sigri in western Lesvos, in the center of the protected area of the Petrified Forest, a protected natural monument with worldwide recognition.
The exhibitions of the museum include two permanent exhibition halls. The first is dedicated to the Petrified Forest and the evolution of plants on earth, which is presented through rare fossils, from the first single-celled organisms appeared on Earth until the appearance of grown plants and the creation of the Petrified Forest. The flora of the Petrified Forest is presented with more than forty different species. Petrified pieces of trunks, branches, roots, seeds and leaves are presented in front of large graphs of the plants.
In the second hall the “Evolution of the Aegean” presents through impressive models and charts geological phenomena and processes associated with the creation of the Petrified Forest and the geological history of the Aegean’s basin in the last 20 million years. Visitors are introduced to the evolutionary history of the volcanic activity in the Greek area, impressive forms of quartz minerals and rocks, skulls moulders of significant extinct primates from Greece and Lesvos, tools made of flint from the Stone Age. The visitors can watch the recording of earthquakes in real time by the Seismological Station of Sigri.
The Museum is a tool for cultural, economic and social development of the region. Every year international conferences, exhibitions, lectures and various events are taking place. Furthermore at the premises of the Museum is organized the Agrotourism Festival.
Particular attention has been given to the implementation of educational programs and the creation of educational materials for all levels of education. The Museum’s educational programs attract each year interest from students of Lesvos and the rest of Greece or abroad.
The museum has installed an earthquake simulator that simulates earthquakes happened in the past. The earthquake simulator provides a realistic experience of earthquakes to the Museum’s visitors, in order to understand the phenomenon and to have a proper training on how to encounter seismic risk.
The Museum collaborates with the Global Geoparks Network of UNESCO, the European Geoparks Network, with scientific institutions, museums, universities and research centers from Greece and abroad.