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History of Geology

Episodes 2024; 47(2): 405-417

Published online June 1, 2024


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

The curious case of Karl Nagalhard and the central European influence on the early studies on the Cenozoic paleobotany in Turkey

Volkan Sarıgül

Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, Batman University, Batman, Turkey

Correspondence to:E-mail: volkansaurus@gmail.com

Received: November 11, 2023; Revised: March 18, 2024; Accepted: March 18, 2024

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Karl Nagalhard (1881–1978), formerly known as Karl Nagel, was a German paleobotanist whose identity remained obscured due to his surname and career change at a relatively young age. He was active in paleobotany between 1914–1922, then he transferred to another academic field; but even so, continued to study paleobotany throughout his life. The life and research of Nagalhard are evaluated here as a part of the history of Cenozoic paleobotany in Turkey, including a synopsis of the early coal industry. The first significant accounts with descriptions and illustrations on the subject were produced by Unger, Engelhardt and Nagalhard, respectively, emphasizing the significance of the German speaking Central European paleobotanists. As being the youngest among them, Nagalhard determined three taxa from Ağaçlı Florula in İstanbul and seven taxa from Yeniköy Florula in Kütahya, and provided valuable remarks on the biostratigraphy and paleoenvironment in his publication which is examined here for the first time almost after a century.