Amphibolite facies early Archaean Am��tsoq gneisses envelop and intrude the c. 3,800 Ma Isua supracrustal belt, Isukasia area, southern West Greenland. Most of these gneisses are strongly deformed, but in a c. 75 km2 augen of lower deformation, the Am��tsoq gneisses are seen to comprise predominantly 3,750-3,700 Ma tonalitic grey gneisses that were intruded first by thin bodies of mafic to dioritic composition, known collectively as the Inaluk dykes, and then by c. 3,600 Ma white gneisses and finally by sporadic c. 3,400 Ma pegmatitic gneiss sheets. The grey gneisses could have formed by partial melting of crust consisting predominantly of basic rocks. The Inaluk dykes are interpreted as strongly fractionated basic melts of mantle origin, contaminated by crustal material. The white gneisses consist mostly of medium grained granite and occur as lenses and anastomosing sheets throughout their host of grey gneisses with subordinate inclusions of supracrustal rocks. The white gneisses have chemistry compatible with formation by partial melting at depth of a source dominated by grey gneisses. The igneous chemistry, including REE abundances, of the grey gneisses and white gneisses has been modified to varying degrees by metasomatism and assimilation reactions during the crystallisation of the white gneisses and also during subsequent tectonometamorphic events. The white gneisses are evidence for considerable reworking by anatexis of sialic crust in the early Archaean, 150 to 100 Ma after its formation. The white gneisses and the pegmatitic gneisses show that granitic rocks s.s. were important in the earliest Archaean, and are further evidence of the diversity of the oldest-known sial. �� 1986 Springer-Verlag.