Mineralogy and Chemical Composition of Basalt Stone Tools in Some Iraqi Archaeological Sites

  • Aqeel Abbas Al-Zubaidy Department of Geophysics, Al- Karkh University of Science, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Hasan Kattoof Jasim Department of Geology, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Rami M. Idan
Keywords: Vesicular, Olivine basalt, Dolerite, Harrat al-Sham, Trade route


Basalt stone tools were collected from some Iraqi Archaeological Sites. Twenty-one samples were studied petrographically, mineralogically, and chemical composition. Five samples were from the Gaara Depression north of Rutba town, seven samples from Tarmiya, north Baghdad, seven samples from Dalmij site, east of Diwaniya city, and two samples from Jordan, which were used for comparison. The studied samples were classified into three groups, according to their mineralogy and texture: Group A: Vesicular Basalt, Group B: Dolerite, and Group C: Olivine Basalt. These stones most probably were used as a hand axe, grinder, hammer, and other uses, as well as for buildings, like those used in Qasar Al- Azraq and Umm Al- Jamal archaeological sites in Jordan. These basalt rocks most probably were transported by an ancient man from Harrat Al-Sham, which extends through Syria-Jordan-Saudi Arabia, or from NE Syria through a trade route that connected between source areas and the studied archaeological sites in Iraq.