Crystalline mineral formed from silica discovered in Qatar
Shaping the Qatar Peninsula (Quaternary)
Object Name: Chalcedony Crystal
Period: Shaping the Qatar Peninsula (Quaternary)
Date: 5 million – 4,000 years ago
Provenance: Donation by Jacques LeBlanc in 2011
Dimensions: 155 mm (H) x 131 mm (W) x 129 mm (D) 1299 g (Wt)
Medium: mineral chalcedony
Registration Number: QNM.2011.660.17
The object is a dense, irregular, translucent, crystalline mineral formed from silica, called chalcedony. It is composed of very fine intergrowths of silica, like quartz. The source of the silica could be echinoderm spines, diatoms, or wind-blown sand.
The waters of the Gulf rose and fell as glaciers retreated and advanced across the world. Sea levels stabilised around 4,000 years ago, defining the coastline of Qatar as we know it today.
Displayed here are desert roses. These clusters of minerals and sand grains occur when salty ground water evaporates in very dry conditions. They probably formed in the past 6,000 years, when Qatar became arid enough for them to develop. Desert roses inspired the architecture of the National Museum of Qatar