Abraham Gottlob Werner

(1749—1817) German geologist

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Professor of mineral science at the Mining Academy, Freiberg, who developed a system of mineral classification which he called ‘oryctognosy’, based on the external characteristics of minerals. He used the term ‘geognosy’ in preference to geology. The theory of the Earth which he taught became known as neptunism. He published little but inspired mining students from all over Europe and much of his terminology was adopted even by those who rejected his theory.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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