Stone with four distinct facets discovered in Qatar
Shaping the Qatar Peninsula (Quaternary)
Object Name: Ventifact
Period: Shaping the Qatar Peninsula (Quaternary)
Date: 6 million – 4,000 years ago
Provenance: Donation by Jacques LeBlanc in 2011
Dimensions: 22 mm (H) x 18 mm (W) x 27 mm (D) 6.6 g (Wt)
Medium: stone
Registration Number: QNM.2011.660.6.4
The object is a type of stone known as ventifact, which is formed when windblown sand causes abrasion and creates one or more flattened, polished facets on pebbles or stones. This particular ventifact has four distinct facets, giving it a tapered, wedge-like shape known as trapezoidal.
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