... the chert from Nova Paka ...

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The rather conspicuous cherts from the Nova Paka area in the Czech Republic have been known for long. They are often traded under the label Stigmaria although these easily recognizable rootstocks of lycopod trees and their appendages make up only a fraction of the fossilized vegetation. Calamites and ferns including Psaronius are present, and several unidentified fragments, too. Some are marvellously well preserved. Lycopod fructifications are among the numerous specimens of outstanding quality.

Although the site is well known among collectors, there is apparently no easily accessible scientific literature on the subject. Hence we are not sure at present whether to place it into the Permian. Given the predominance of lycopods it could as well belong into the Carboniferous. As it is often the case with cherts, they are not found as outcrops but as displaced fragments. They can still be found, with some luck, on the fields near Ujezdec and Zeleznice.

There is a deplorable development which should be mentioned: Lately, "stigmaria" are being traded in considerable amounts, and samples of high scientific interest, which are, unfortunately, the most beautiful ones, fetch prizes which the scientific community cannot afford to pay, and so they are turned into jewellery, ash trays etc.. Therefore collectors and palaeobotanists should combine efforts and lose no more time to recover material of scientific interest which has escaped the fate of being turned into merchandise, and describe it thoroughly.


maggot stone from Zeleznice

stigmaria with appendages from Ujezdec


lycopod cone and more from Ujezdec



typical chert from Nova Paka



exhibitions on fossiliferous cherts