'Swamp' Kauri - preserved in the swamp

Swamp Kauri refers to Kauri timber that is being dug up from the ground. Some tree trunks are fully intact, others have partly rotted away, especially the parts that were sticking out of the ground.

Timber from the last ice ages

We had samples of Swamp Kauri dated, and established an age of at least 35,000 years. For this we used the very reliable C14 dating method. Also known as the carbon method.

We assume that there have been large tidal waves about 50,000 and 35,000 years ago, which flooded large parts of the land. In this violence, 3000 years old Kauris with a diameter of 4 metres, were uprooted and engulfed by mud and water. Gigantic swamps were created, swallowing up these primeval trees.

As there was no streaming water or oxygen, these forest giants were vacuum-packed under the ground, so to speak, so they would not rot away. And now we are excavating these trees again: complete with leaves, cones and bark.

>>Read about the proof of age


Excavating the trees

When farmers started using the former swamp land for cattle breeding, they encountered bare parts where no grass would grow. Research showed that on these places, there were huge trees under the surface. In the end, it turned out that there was a complete forest of 35,000 years old Kauris under the ground.

These days, these trees of 18 to 20 metres and weighing 100 tons, are pulled out of the ground by large excavators and bulldozers.

Since these trees are so colossal, special chain saws with extra long blades were developed in order to be able to saw the trunks under the ground, into workable trunks of 4 to 6 metres.

>>From swamp to slab