Mining is getting precious ores from ugly, and somehow stupid rocks. These ores include copper, gold, iron, silver, coal, aluminum, gems, uranium. Mining enables the improvement called Mine. Mines is where you can put your peasants in to work hard and endlessly to get the ores and package them to you, their supreme ruler. Though, if you're nation is old and the people know better, it might be smart not to make them work too hard as they are lazy and will rather protest or riot than work. The Mining technology leads to Masonry,
hatred and riots, and Bronze Working.