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Rhynie Chert Pictures

During our holiday in Scotland in 1983 we went to the village of Rhynie in the hope of finding some pieces of the famous Rhynie Chert. We didn't succeed because of the inaccessibility of the layers.

We visited Dr. A.G.Lyon, who lived in Rhynie and who did extensive research on the plant remains in the Rhynie Chert. He showed us some beautiful fossils and gave us four small pieces of the fossiliferous material. Dr. Lyon passed away in 1997.

Hans de Kruyk from Leerdam made 72 slides from these four pieces of chert, which turned out to give a marvellous view of the contents of the silicified marsh of Rhynie.

The photos in this 'atlas' have been made by him at my indication.
Later on Hans de Kruijk has made more slides from material he got from the Manchester University. Photos from these thin sections are also included. They are indicated with HdK.

You may find a brief description of the significance of the Rhynie Chert in the paper 'The oldest land plants (2)'. The photos in that paper have also been included in this section.

In 2001 we got the disposal of fifty thin sections of Rhynie Chert, manufactured in 1922 and bought in that year by the University of Groningen (NL). They are used for teaching and research. Thanks to these, sometimes very large, slides we can give a still more complete impression of the fossils of the Rhynie Chert. The fossils of this group are indicated with the word 'Groningen'.

Rhynie 400 million years ago

The place where the Rhynie chert is found.
Move the cursor over the photo to see how the landscape looked like 400 million years ago.


Rhynia gwynne-vaughanii

Asteroxylon mackiei

Horneophyton lignieri

Aglaophyton major

Nothia aphylla



Rotifer and algal colony


Animal remains

Slide show of the microphotos