Importance and Uses of Rocks

Topics: Rock, Smelting, Stone Age Pages: 2 (784 words) Published: May 16, 2012
Uses of Rocks & Minerals

1. Building Stones 2.Machines & Tools 3.Artifacts 4.Consumables & Processes 5.Decorations 6.Jewellery We use things made from rocks and minerals every day. If something doesn't come from a plant or an animal, it has to be mined. According to the Mineral Information Institute, it is estimated that in a lifetime, A person living in North America will use up the following quantity of rocks and minerals Lead - 365 kgAluminum - 1633 kg,Zinc - 340 kg, Iron - 14 863 kg,copper - 680 kg,clays - 12 068 kg,salt - 12 824 kg stone, sand, gravel & cement - 562-77kg/Very long ago, our ancestors used rocks for tools. This was known as the Stone Age. This period of human development lasted a long time. Obsidian and flint were used for knives and spears.River rocks were used to break other things. Caves were used as places to live androcks and boulders were used to sit on and to build fire pits.Depending on what part of the world people lived in, this period was then followed by the Copper Age when people discovered how to smelt (melt using high heat) copper ore.During this time, cities were being built and building stones were being used a lot.This was then followed by the Bronze Age about 6,000 years ago. During this time, people learned how to mix minerals to produce metals like copper, bronze, lead and tin.This period was then followed by the Iron Age about 3,000 years ago.Iron is very strong and made very good and long lasting tools.These tools also meant that stone could be shaped more easily and many empires built buildings, structures and roads that still can be seen today.Since that time period, people have built many cities and used minerals extensively.In Modern Times, since about 1700 CE we have been using rocks and minerals at an ever increasing rate as we build machines, cities and consume a great number of "things" in a lifetime. Our uses of rocks and minerals can be divided into 5 categories:-1. Building StonesMost of the rock...
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