Iron sulfide mineral discovered in Qatar
Shaping the Qatar Peninsula (Quaternary)
Object Name: Pyrite Crystal
Period: Shaping the Qatar Peninsula (Quaternary)
Date: 3 million – 4,000 years ago
Provenance: Donation by Jacques LeBlanc in 2011
Dimensions: 32.9 mm (H) x 60.3 mm (W) x 52.7 mm (D) 148 g (Wt)
Medium: mineral-pyrite
Registration Number: QNM.2011.660.22
The object is a hard, dense, dark purple piece of mineral called pyrite. It is an iron sulfide mineral that consists of cubic crystals. In Qatar, a layer of pyrite sits at the top of the Midra formation, indicating that the sea at one time became anaerobic, meaning it lacked oxygen.
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