Fifty Minerals That Changed the Course of History
Using the word 'minerals' in its broadest sense, Fifty Minerals that Changed the Course of History features the metals, alloys, rocks, organic minerals, and gemstones that humans have used as the building blocks of their material cultures. From flint and obsidian to bronze and iron, it explores the roots of industry and trade from the earliest recorded history, and marvels at the extraordinary works of art produced in gold, silver, ivory and jade by the great classical civilisations of the Old and New Worlds. Moving to modern times, it charts the industrialisation of societies through the use of fossil fuels, the production of steel and aluminium and the harnessing of nuclear energy from uranium and plutonium. Fifty Minerals that Changed the Course of History is a beautifully presented guide to the minerals that have shaped and defined our lives. Weaving together strands of economic, cultural, political and industrial history, each entry gives a fascinating perspective on the scope and pace of human development, and the dangers posed by our exploitation of Earth's resources.
Eric Chaline is a professional journalist and writer specialising in history, philosophy and religion. He has published titles on philosophy, including The Book of Zen and The Book of Gods, and on history, including Traveler's Guide to the Ancient World: Ancient Greece, History's Worst Inventions, History's Greatest Deceptions, and History's Worst Predictions.
Inroduction 1. Alabaster 2. Alum 3. Aluminium 4. Amber 5. Arsenic 6. Asbestos 7. Asphalt 8. Bronze 9. Chalk 10. Clay 11. Coal 12. Copper 13. Coral 14. Diamond 15. Flint 16. Graphite 17. Gold 18. Iron 19. Ivory 20. Jade 21. Kaolin 22. Lead 23. Marble 24. Mercury 25. Nacre 26. Obsidian 27. Ochre 28. Petroleum 29. Phosphate 30. plutonium 31. Potassium 32. Pumice 33. Quartz 34. Radium 35. Sand 36. Salt 37. Saltpeter 38. Silver 39. Slate 40. Soda ash 41. Sodium bicarbonate 42. Steel 43. Sulfur 44. Talc 45. Tin 46. Titanium 47. Tungsten 48. Uranium 49. Vermiculite 50. Zinc Further Reading Index Credits