Two lecturers in Kashmir have claimed to have discovered a “gigantic fossil site” while scouting for fossil samples near Aharbal waterfall in Kulgam district.
The gigantic fossil site was discovered by two lectures Manzoor Javaid and Dr Rouf Hamza, who work with the School Education Department, when they came across a site, which is rich in fossil diversity at specific locations aged between 488- 354 million years.
Notably, the site is located at a distance of about two kilometers from Ahrabal waterfall in Kulgam district and the site is studded with thousands of fossil remains of diverse nature which got exposed due to weathering, construction of road and subsequent erosion.
Dr Rouf Hamza said that thousands of fossils are visible at the site superficially without any excavation. “This is an indication that huge haul of fossils could be hidden beneath.”
He said that if the potential areas of the site are excavated, it may reveal an astonishing fossil world to the scientific community.
“During the preliminary investigation, it was revealed that the fossil samples fall between Ordovician and Devonian period. However, it needs to be ascertained through serious research and Carbon Dating.”
He said that the organisms commonly found during this period belong to Bryozoa (Fenestella, Fenestrillina, Trepestome, Rhombopore), Trilobites, Crinoids, Brachiopods, Corals etc. “However, the site needs to be evaluated for other fossil flora and fauna.”
Dr Rouf claimed that till date, it is presumably the biggest find in J&K in terms of occurrence, area, diversity and age of the fossils.
“Interestingly most of the fossil sites have been discovered either by the foreigners or by the professionals. However, this is the only discovery in Jammu and Kashmir made by the amateur fossil hunters,” he claimed.