Chert 2017

In a departure from our time-honored tradition of naming software applications after
antelopes in my temporary absence a project code-named Chert was started. It was
named after a fine-grained sedimentary rock composed of microcrystalline or
cryptocrystalline silica. Depending on its origin, chert can contain either microfossils,
small macrofossils, or both. It varies from white to black, and most of the colors in
between. Technically, in geology chert refers to lower quality specimens, typically
from limestone formations. Flint is a chert, but often of a higher quality and typically
from chalk formations. There are many minerals thare either are cherts or are closely
related: jasper, radiolarite, chalcedony, agate, onyx, opal, mozarkite and so on.
Because chert and flint have no cleavage planes, striking them with care results in
conchoidal fractures. With skill, hominids were able to produce stone flakes to make
 weapons and tools. An additional property of interest for cherts is that striking them
 against an iron surface produces sparks so cherts are used to start fires and enable
 flintlock firearms.
Our CHERT is used to record where hominid fossils and implements have been found.
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