Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ancient Kauri Wood

The grain of ancient Kauri wood has a luminous quality.
Okay, it sounds too strange to believe, but here's the story. Ancient Kauri logs, 50,000 years old, yes, 50,000 years old are being harvested from fields in New Zealand, and because they are not petrified, but have been preserved by peat bogs, make a wonderful medium for artists and craftsmen.

The logs, some with a girth of around 40 feet, and a total height of nearly 200 feet long, grew for 1,200 to 2,000 years before they were felled in an unexplained act of nature at the end of the last ice age. Radio carbon dating places the age of the Ancient Kauri trees being excavated from New Zealand fields at 50,000 years old. This is the maximum limit of radio carbon dating, so it is possible the logs are even older.

The logs were preserved by a unique balanced environment beneath peat bogs, that kept them so well from rotting or becoming  petrified. Ancient Kauri is similar in density to cherry, with textures like basswood. The grain has a luminous quality that gives the ancient wood a unique quality. Kauri trees still grows today in countries around the Pacific Rim.
(c) 2012 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

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