How Copper Was Discovered and Its Uses Throughout History

Copper is something that is all around us and we take it for granted. It isn’t known who actually discovered it or when. What we do know, however, is that a 10,000-year old pendant was found in Iraq, which goes to show how long it has been around. Almost exclusively, looking at ancient artifacts, copper was used pure, not in the form of a compound or ore, which is also how it was found. This has led most archeologists and anthropologists to agree that copper was the very first metal used by human, probably at the same time as gold and meteoritic iron.

We know that copper was around during prehistory. There is evidence to show that around 1,000 B.C. ancient Americans already used it, in its pure forms. The Native Americans in the northern parts of America used it to make jewelry, trinkets and spear tips.

The Sumer and the Chaldea are believed to be some of the first ancient civilizations to use copper in more advanced methods, using it primarily to make weapons. Then, there were the Sumerians, who used copper to create beautiful works of art, most of which were wall-hung. The Imdugud Relief is perhaps the most famous example. This was carbon dated to having been produced around 2,500 B.C.

There is also some evidence that the Cypriote Romans started using copper some 11,000 years ago. It is believed that the name ‘copper’ actually stems from ‘Cyprus’ and that it was therefore discovered here. It is certainly true that resources are abundant here, and there is archeological evidence to show just how proficient the ancient romans were in using the metal.

But other cultures have similar claims. Many believe it actually comes from the Middle East, where it was used to create alloys like brass and bronze. These alloys have better qualities than copper, because they are stronger and more durable. We also know that both copper and brass were used in Turkey from around 5,000 B.C. onwards. However, the Middle East, Turkey and Cyprus are, on a geographical basis, quite close to each other, so it may mean that there is an overlap. This is further proven by the fact that they use similar techniques in using the metal, whereas the ancient American cultures use different ones.

Finally, there were the Hindus, who are believed to be some of the first to use copper for weapons, cutlery and coins. They were, it seems, the only ancient civilization that did not use copper for any type of weaponry. Meanwhile, the ancient Egyptians created beautiful works of art that were entered with special people.

Today, we continue to use copper in everything. If you take a look around you, you would be surprised at the amount of copper nails that you could find. Some people fear that we are starting to run out, and it is certainly true that copper is now a very valuable material. This is why some people steal cabling from railways and old properties, as they want to sell the property.

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