Over 200 color photographs & charts
The fish fossils of Lebanon are among the most beautiful in the world, witnesses to an ancient time dating back more than one hundred million years. For centuries now, Lebanon has been celebrated by adventurers and explorers for its unusual stones bearing the imprints of fish and crustaceans, many of these now on exhibit in some of the world’s finest museums, or carefully preserved within private collections. Yet still many questions about the fossilization of these marine animals, as well as their mysterious presence high up in the mountains, remain unanswered. Les poissons fossiles is the result of a meeting between Lebanese archeologist Pierre Abi Saad, a passionate collector of his country’s fish fossils, whose collection is one of the most extraordinary in the world, and two French paleontologists. Mireille Gayet, director of paleontological research at the C.N.R.S., has studied numerous groups of fish fossils in seeking to analyze and reconstruct their history. Anne Belouze has sought to understand the past life of eels, of which Lebanon possesses the most ancient representatives known to the world. Finally, Olivier Gaudant, a photographer and computer graphics designer, has given life through his images to these magnificent fossils. The richness of the reproductions, the clarity of the texts, and the rigorous scholarship make this work a wonderful photographic catalogue, an invaluable scientific study as well as an unusual view into Lebanon’s rich cultural heritage.