Georgius Agricola, German mineralogist

Georgius Agricola, German mineralogist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Georgius Agricola (1494-1555), German mineralogist. Georgius Agricola is the latinised version of his given name, Georg Bauer. Agricola worked as a doctor in a number of mining towns in Saxony. The majority of his time was not spent on medicine, but studying geology and mining. His most famous work, "De re metallica" (On the nature of metals), which was published a year after his death, not only contained detailed notes on rocks, minerals and geology but also mining technology and practice. Its publication lead to Agricola being considered the founder of geology as a discipline. Another of his works "De natura fossilium" contained, for the first time, a classification of minerals according to their physical properties.

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