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Palaeontology is the science that deals with the organic world of past geological eras. This science studies fossilised plants and animals that are preserved in rocks. The term «fossils» includes the remains of these organisms as well as their traces or their marks and any other evidence indicating their existance in the past.

Fossils assist scientists in determining the geological age of rocks and particularly the age of sedimentary rocks. This age can be estimated by the presence of characteristic (indicative) fossils that lived in specific geological eras. The study of fossils provides scientists with useful information and leads to conclusions concerning the rocks in which they have been found and the environment in which they lived.

The fossils of Cyprus originate mainly from marine species, since the majority of sedimentary rock formations are of marine origin. On earth rock formations and mainly in caves and natural grottos are found fossils of pigmy hippopotami, elephants and other mammals. Fossilised pine cones and pine tree branches that have been found in certain areas in the pleocene marls are still of unknown origin as far as their species is concerned. These fossils are witnesses of the earliest presence of pine trees in Cyprus.