Mountainous area in eastern Turkey used to be a beach, fossils reveal

Fossils discovered by a nature enthusiast in mountainous eastern province of Iğdır revealed that the area, now completely landlocked, used to be a shore and underwater. The fossils contained palm leaves, which grow in hot areas by the water.

Duvar English

Fossils discovered by a nature enthusiast in eastern Iğdır, now landlocked, revealed that one of the country's highest regions was in fact underwater in ancient times.

The fossils were determined by Erzurum Atatürk University to be leaves from a palm tree, which grow in hot places by the beach.

The fossils were part of boulders that fell down from the top of a mountain in Alhanlı village.

Erzurum Atatürk University biodiversity expert Prof. Levent Gültekin noted that Aras Valley, where the fossils were found, is rich in biodiversity.

"About 23 to 55 million years ago, the districts of Iğdır were on the beach," Gültekin said.

Prof. Levent Gültekin (middle) points to the boulder.

The professor said that no palm trees are found in the area today.

Dr. Belkıs Muca Yiğit also noted that there are marine remains in the area.