Thousands of years ago, our ancestors started to move out of the stone age, and into the bronze age. Humans started to discover that metals could be used to create all sorts of useful and decorative items – from tools, to weapons, to jewellery to ornaments. These early humans started to make the most of this natural resource, and they used a process called hammering to create the shapes and designs that they wanted from the metal.
For a few thousand years, humans used copper in much the same way, whilst experimenting with the techniques and tools that they could use to shape and form the metal into various objects. As civilisations learned more about copper and started to get better at using the various techniques, they started to experiment with it more. They also started to find out about both copper ore and how to use smelting – this changed a lot, and revolutionised the way that copper was used, leading the way for using other metals.
The ancient Egyptians who were known for their forward-thinking ingenuity mined their copper from Sinai and used it to make all sorts of objects. They also realised that if they mixed copper with something else, like tin, it would make a much stronger metal which had other uses. Bronze was produced in Egypt around 4000 BC, but there are other areas where it also may have been produced earlier. However, the ancient Egyptians were a successful civilisation, and this helped them to become even more so.
The ancient Roman Empire was also both technologically advanced and very interested in the uses of metals – as well as using copper and bronze, the Romans also made the most of metals like lead, which they used for pipes, as well as the metals that they used to create the weapons and armour, which were part of their success in having such a vast empire.
Although copper has been around and used for thousands of years, its popularity as a material has not diminished – in fact as humans needs have changed and evolved, more uses have been found for copper – from electrical wires to copper pipe fittings like these https://watkinspowis.co.uk/products/copper-pipe-fittings-and-press-systems – so despite being used for so many years, copper shows no signs of being something that we have no use for any time soon!