George Palickar

I found this on 6/5/2004 near a large excavition in northeast Pennsylvania. Is it bone or wood? Rock may have been baked in a coal fire. Found near an ash deposit. The branchlike structure when seen from the end has granite-like crystals, and is lighter than the surrounding rock. The boards the rock is resting on are ~3.5" in width. Any ideas?

Looking from the left side, the composition is granite-like, with an oval X-section.


At first glance, I see strong indications that this is sedimentary rock. I see nothing on the surfaces you pictured that looks like a fossil. The Oval X-section in the detail1.jpg image is the close to a fossil shape. But from looking at the way the shale and granite are formed in this rock, the shape you pointed out seems to fit the curves of the weathered sediment.

Dr. Carlton Brett, University of Cincinnati
The best I can tell these are metamorphic and igneous rocks (though a bit tough to tell from the photo). The one picture does indeed look like a granite. Perhaps what he is seeing are metamorphics: schists or phyllites that have a foliation that resembles wood grain. These appear to have been intruded by granite.

It would be helpful to know where in Pennsylvania these came from; we could perhaps pin down the units. So, although I could be wrong I'd say these are out of the Piedmont belt where the metamorphic rocks. are exposed; alternatively, they could be from glacial boulders in NE Pa. Not sure.

SO not only probably not fossils, but not even sedimentary rock.

Anyway, hope this helps.



If you have ideas of what this fossil may be, email George Palickar at


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