What Was Brass Used for in Ancient Times?

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc that has been used for centuries in various applications. In ancient times, brass was highly valued for its durability, malleability, and aesthetic appeal. Let’s take a closer look at what brass was used for in ancient times.

The History of Brass

Brass has been around for over 5,000 years and was first used by the ancient civilizations of the Near East. The earliest known example of brass dates back to the 3rd millennium BCE in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) where it was used to make jewelry and decorative objects.

During the Roman Empire, brass was widely used for coins, military equipment, and household items such as lamps, bowls, and statues. The use of brass continued to spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages.

Uses of Brass in Ancient Times

1. Jewelry

Brass was a popular material for making jewelry in ancient times due to its durability and attractive golden color. Ancient Egyptians used brass extensively to create intricate jewelry pieces such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings.

2. Weapons

Brass was also commonly used in weapons because it is strong enough to withstand impact without breaking or bending. The ancient Greeks made helmets with brass plumes while the Romans made swords with brass handles.

3. Decorative Objects

Brass was often used to create decorative objects such as statues, vases, lamps, and bowls due to its malleability. It allowed artisans to create intricate designs that were both beautiful and functional.

4. Musical Instruments

In ancient times, brass was also a popular material for making musical instruments such as trumpets and horns due to its acoustic properties. The ancient Greeks are believed to have invented the trumpet made from brass.


In conclusion, brass was a highly valued material in ancient times due to its durability, malleability, and aesthetic appeal. It was used for making jewelry, weapons, decorative objects, and musical instruments. Today, brass continues to be a popular material for various applications including plumbing fixtures, electrical components, and architectural hardware.