As ancient oceans receded some 270 million years ago, limestone seabeds became plateaus. Earthquakes and acids in rain and soil continued to erode the limestone, resulting in landscapes of hundreds of karst spires, some up to 130 ft tall*. Among the most famous of these landscapes are Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in northwest Madagascar and Shilin Stone Forest near Kunming, China. Millions of visitors every year are awed by these unique stone formations.
The mica tray is hand-burnished. The markings along the right edge are the Chinese characters for “shan” (mountains) and “chuan” (streams).
*Marjorie M. Sweeting (1995). Karst in China: Its Geomorphology and Environment. Berlin: Springer-Verlag pp.125-6.