Full title: Clay: The History and Evolution of Humankind's Relationship with Earth's Most Primal Element
By Suzanne Staubach
The clay beneath our feet is crucial to the computer and space industries, bio-technology, publishing, and a wide range of manufacturing processes. The potter's wheel was the very first machine. With the invention of pottery came cooking and storage vessels, ceramics, the discovery of alcoholic beverages, the oven, clay tablets for the first written communication, irrigation for agriculture, vast trade networks, plumbing, sanitation, and an incredibly durable building material. Much of the Great Wall of China was made of fired clay bricks-a material that can stand for centuries.
Now, Suzanne Staubach presents a lively look at how civilization was built on clay-from the first spark plugs to modern semi-conductors, satellite communications to surgical equipment. Clay is a fascinating, colorful look at how, from the primordial ooze to modern miracles, this most humble of substances continues to shape our world in ways limited only by the human imagination.