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Many early geologists named rocks that were readily distinguishable from other types of rocks as soon as they were discovered. Often times these names were based upon the place where the rocks were first identified. Indeed, the term shonkinite derives from Shonkin, the Native American name for Montana’s Highwood Mountains, where this rare type of rock was first examined by Walter Harvey Weed and Louis V. Pirsson in 1895. The geologists coined the term and published the results of their studies the following year in Geology of the Little Rocky Mountains.

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