Petrified Wood museum of Nakhon Ratchasima
The museum is located in the compound of the research center in the northeastern region. The place collects and researches petrified wood and other paleontologic objects found in the province. It took ten years for the museum to be formed.
The museum was founded in 1994 when the smuggling of petrified woods in the area and neighboring provinces was a problem. The petrified wood ranging from two meters to 10 meters in diameter were smuggled in large quantity and sold to private collectors or antique shops. Many sectors realized the problem and tried to preserve this paleontological heritage by raising the problem in the public forum. The Nakhorn Ratchasima Rajabhat Institute was assigned to oversee the project with support from the Department of Geological Resources.
Mr. Suphat Khamsri, a research officer, explained that for a tree to become a stone, the place must have been a waterway. The tree was covered by sediment and minerals slowly permeated through it without changing its structure. It is believed that the area was a waterway because round stones are prevalent in the compound. In addition, petrified wood have become precious stones that can be made into jewelry items. In Thailand, petrified wood are discovered only in the north and northeastern regions.
The museum is divided into a reception and information area and an exhibition area, which includes three buildings. The first building is composed of offices, a library, a 200 seat auditorium, an exhibition about the King and geological works, precious stone, petrified wood and a temporary exhibition. The second building displays paleontological specimens uncovered in the area, e.g., petrified wood, fossilized mammoths, dinosaurs and other animals.
The research and operation center is composed of four buildings for researching, collecting and classifying fossils in the region. Moreover, there are a stone and mineral garden and a two-meter fossil excavation pit. Dr. Prathuang Jintasakun, the center director, said that the center would be the leader in Asia on petrified wood in 2005, mammoths in 2007 and dinosaurs in 2011. Of the seven sites in the world with petrified wood, this place is the only one in the Asian region. Its location is advantageous in that it is a gateway to “the Dinosaur World” in the Northeast with convenient transportation.
Furthermore, the center is conducting research on mammoths and other paleontological animals found in the Korat region. In certain areas, over 1,000 fossil pieces were unearthed in a few square meters. In Chalerm Prakiat District, 8 families of mammoths out of 38 in the world have been discovered.
Before the museum was constructed, all the finds were kept at Krok Duan Ha Temple until the 95-million baht building was recently given by the Department of Geological Resources. Nevertheless, financial support is far from sufficient to develop the exhibition. At the moment, everything is laid at their original places without any modification to make them more interesting. More research needs to be conducted to gain new knowledge in the field. In addition, the present eight officers have to be curators, academicians and menders of the fossils. A few foreign researchers have joined the research project. Although the museum is not officially opened to the public, students and interested people have regularly visited the museum.
Chartchai Khama. “Museum of Petrified Wood: A dream waiting to come true.” Matichon. January 8, 2005.
They made an official opening on Wednesday of October 29, 2008. They have an official website (only in Thai) here…
The museum opens at 09-00 am to 16-00 Tuesday to Sunday.
Thai adults…..30 baht
University student..20 baht
GOOGLE EARTH PLACEMARK
For more information, please contact:
NorthEastern Petrified Wood and Natural Resources Museum
tel: 044-216617 Fax:044-216621
- http://www.gokorat.com/korat5.html *many pictures
- http://www.koratpost.net/forum/index.php?topic=218 *many pictures