Did Ancient Man Make Artificial Basalt?
The fertile land around the second-millennium-B.C. city of Mashkanshapir provided little stone for building. Excavators of the city, which is in modern Iraq, believe they have discovered the ancient Mesopotamians' ingenious solution to this problem. They made rock. Their conclusion is based on the nature of what researchers first thought was natural basalt, which was evidently used to build many structures.
Basalt occurs naturally nowhere in the area. Furthermore, all the hundreds of basalt rocks found in the area are flat on one side and bumpy on the other. The chemical makeup of the rock is similar to the silt found in area rivers. The basalt was formed, say researchers, by forming the river sediment into slabs, melting the sediment at almost 2,200 degrees F, and then allowing it to cool slowly. Researchers think that the development of such an unexpected and sophisticated process was a result of potters and metal smiths pooling their knowledge.
Traditionally, researchers have held to an evolutionary view of man that views ancient man as technologically unsophisticated. This view rejects the Bible's claim that we are intelligent beings, created by an intelligent God. But the man-made basalt of ancient Mesopotamia supports the Bible's claim that as early as the seventh generation after Adam, metalworking had developed into a sophisticated science.