How Was Copper Used in Ancient Times?

Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal that has been used for various purposes since ancient times. Let’s dive into how copper was used in ancient times.

The Discovery of Copper

The discovery of copper dates back to prehistoric times, around 8000 BCE. The first evidence of copper mining comes from the Middle East, specifically in present-day Iraq. The earliest known artifacts made of copper are beads found in northern Iraq that date back to around 9000 BCE.

Uses of Copper in Ancient Times

Copper had several uses in ancient times, including:

  • Tools: Copper was easy to shape and mold into tools such as knives, axes, and hammers. Its durability made it a popular choice for weapons as well.
  • Jewelry: Copper was also used to make jewelry such as bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.

    Its ability to be easily shaped made it ideal for creating intricate designs.

  • Coinage: Copper was also used to make coins in ancient times. The first recorded use of copper coins was by the ancient Egyptians around 2500 BCE.
  • Architecture: Copper was also used in architecture and construction. The Romans used copper for roofing, gutters, and downspouts.

The Advantages of Using Copper

Copper had several advantages over other metals in ancient times:

  • Malleability: Copper is highly malleable and ductile, which means it can be easily shaped without breaking or cracking.
  • Durability: Copper is a durable metal that can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
  • Conductivity: Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, which made it ideal for making tools, coins, and other items.
  • Antimicrobial Properties: Copper has antimicrobial properties that make it effective against bacteria and viruses. This made it ideal for making water vessels to help prevent the spread of disease.

Copper in Religion and Mythology

Copper had significant religious and mythological significance in ancient times. The ancient Egyptians believed that copper had healing powers and used it to treat various ailments. In Hindu mythology, copper is associated with the planet Venus and is believed to bring good luck and prosperity.


In conclusion, copper has been used for various purposes since ancient times. Its malleability, durability, conductivity, and antimicrobial properties made it an ideal metal for making tools, coins, jewelry, and other items. Today, copper continues to be an important metal in various industries such as construction, electronics, and telecommunications due to its excellent conductivity.