We describe here the most important milestones and contributions to Sedimentary Petrology compared to other geological disciplines. We define the main aim of our study and the scientific and economic interests involved in Sedimentary Petrology. The body of the paper focuses upon the historical development of this discipline from Henry Sorby's initial work until the present day. The major milestones in its history include: 1) initial descriptive works; 2) experimental studies; 3) the establishment of the different classifications of sedimentary rocks; 4) studies into facies and sedimentary environments; 5) advances in the study of diagenetic processes and their role in hydrocarbon prospection; and 6) the development of Sedimentary Geochemistry. Relationships and coincidences with Sedimentology are discussed. We go on to look at the advances that have taken place over the last 30 years, in which the study of sedimentary rocks is necessarily included in the wider field of Sedimentary Geology as a logical result of the proposal of global models of a changing Earth in which Sedimentary Geology plays a significant part. Finally we mention the notable contributions of Spanish sedimentary petrologists to this whole field of science. (Author) 120 refs.