Importance of Rocks and Minerals

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Importance of Rocks and Minerals Rocks are all around us. Everyday we pass by them not knowing the key that they hold or have held in the past. Even the simplest of rocks can be important. There are a lot of uses of rocks and minerals that a lot of people don’t know about. “Based on current consumption, it is estimated that you - and every other person in the United States - will use more than a million pounds of rocks, minerals and metals during your lifetime.” (“Rock and Mineral Uses”) This includes 800 pounds of lead, 1500 pounds of copper, and 28,000 pounds of salt. What is a rock? All rocks are minerals but not all minerals are rocks. “Rocks are created from one or more hardened minerals that have been pressed down, or forced together from heat and pressure. Minerals are solid material found inside and on Earth’s surface.” (“Rocks and Geology”) On Earth, there are three main rock classifications. Sedimentary rocks are formed by the deposition of material on Earth’s surface or in the water. Igneous rocks are formed through cooling of magma and lava. Metamorphic rocks are formed when rocks are changed due to heat and pressure. Let’s go back to the past. How were rocks used? You may have heard of Stonehenge. This was made from huge stones. “Stonehenge, like all the prehistoric stone monuments of Europe, is clearly arranged in some kind of systematic pattern.” (“Important Questions That Archaeology Can Answer”) There have been several archaeological digs in New Mexico near Folsom and Clovis. They have found bones as well as arrowheads and blades made from stone. “One of the first two caches of stone tools attributable to the Clovis period

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