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Digging deeper in human history; the role of mining natural resources in big history

Jesse E. Bos and Paula Metallo
Digging deeper in human history; the role of mining natural resources in big history
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (June 2022) 557

Abstract

This paper is focused on the "paths of human history" in relation to the geological occurrence patterns of the following natural resources: stone, copper, tin, iron, gold, and coal. The abundant occurrence of flint in the Near East has influenced toolmaking and maybe the moment when early men discovered how to control fire. The scarcity of tin stimulated an early long distance trade during the Bronze Age. The abundant occurrence of iron, on the other hand, offered tools for everyday agriculture and "democratized" weaponry. The scarcity of gold, plus its durability, made it perfect for money, and therefore mining of gold strongly influenced economic history. The use of coal revolutionized the use of energy and industrialization. From making knives to controlling fire, from developing world trade to stimulating agriculture and war, from creating a global economy to increasing, as well as highlighting, the great differences between haves and have nots, from forming societies to destroying environments, the role of ores and their occurrences were essential.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 557
Title: Digging deeper in human history; the role of mining natural resources in big history
Affiliation: European Big History Network, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Published: 20220621
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
Number of pages: Article
Accession Number: 2024-007297
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Secondary Affiliation: Associazione, ITA, Italy
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2024, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 202405
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