Origins of Metal

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Origins of Metal

The origins of metal can be traced back thousands of years. The discovery of metal played a crucial role in shaping technological progress.

Illustrative background for CopperIllustrative background for Copper ?? "content


  • Copper was one of the first metals to be used by humans.
  • Copper was discovered around 8,000 BCE.
    • In 8,000 BCE, copper was used in the Middle East, Egypt, and India.
  • Copper was hammered into shapes.
    • Copper was smelted to produce refined copper objects.
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  • Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin.
  • Bronze marked a key advancement in metalworking.
  • Bronze was discovered around 3,500 BCE in different parts of the world.
    • For example, Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and the Indus Valley.
  • Bronze was used for tools, weapons, and artwork during the Bronze Age.
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  • The discovery of iron came around 1,200 BCE.
  • The exact origins of ironworking are still debated.
    • Iron is believed to have emerged independently in Anatolia, the Near East, and Africa.
  • Iron's abundance and strength made it a game-changer.
    • This led to the Iron Age.
    • This led to significant advancements in metallurgy (the study of metal).
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Other metals

  • Over time, humans discovered various other metals.
    • Silver was used for ornamental and currency purposes.
    • Gold was highly valued for its rarity and beauty.
    • Lead, tin, zinc, and mercury were utilised by ancient civilizations for different purposes.
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Implications for human societies

  • The discovery of different metals had a big impact on the way humans lived.
  • The discovery of metals revolutionised:
    • Tools.
    • Weapons.
    • Farming.
    • Trade.
    • Culture.
  • The discovery of metals contributed to the advancement of civilisation.

Jump to other topics

1Core Technical Principles

2Paper & Board: Specialist Technical Principles

3Timber: Specialist Technical Principles

4Metal: Specialist Technical Principles

5Polymers: Specialist Technical Principles

6Textiles: Specialist Technical Principles

7Designing & Making Principles

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