Petrified wood is the fossilized remains of trees and other vegetation where the organic materials have been completely replaced with minerals such as silica and quartz. Unlike other types of fossils which are typically impressions or compressions, petrified wood is a three-dimensional representation of the original plant made of hard rock. Petrified trees have been found all over the world, but are particularly abundant in many places in the United States. The Petrified Forest National Park, in Navajo County, Arizona, is one such place.
The Agate House is a partially restored Indian pueblo built almost entirely of petrified wood and sealed with mud located in Petrified Forest National. It’s believed to have been built by the ancestors of the modern Pueblo people between the year 900 and 1200. These ancient people used petrified wood for a variety of purposes including tools such as projectile points, knives, and scrapers. The Agate House is the only surviving example of petrified wood being used as a building material.
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