Experiments to reconstruct the liquidus curve and establish the phase relationships of a basanite (Mg# = 72) from the McMurdo Volcanic Group, (thought to represent a nearly primary magma) used 1.0– 3.0 GPa and 1175–1550°C. The results suggest that this basanite could be generated by partial melting either of a spinel Iherzolite (at P = 1.5–2.0 GPa and T = 1390–1490°C) or of a garnet pyroxenite (at P > 3.0 GPa and T > 1550°C) source. Several lines of petrological and geochemical evidence support the latter hypothesis. Moreover, experimental results indicate the presence of mica in the source if it is assumed that the magma lost some water during its ascent to the surface. This is supported by the presence of mica and amphibole-bearing mantle xenoliths hosted in the most primitive volcanic rocks of the McMurdo Volcanic Group. These results and observations suggest that the source of magmas underwent metasomatism prior to partial melting.