When was copper first used?
Copper was used by the man earlier than other metals, with the exception of gold. Long before the dawn of history, men of the Stone Age were already using it.
One of the reasons for this early use of copper was that it is found in a fairly pure state. It can be found in lumps and grains of free metal. So ancient man probably picked up lumps of copper because they were attractive. Later on, man discovered that these red stones of metal could be beaten into any shape. So they began to make knives and weapons out of copper, which was easier than making them by chipping flints.
And then, much later, man discovered that by melting the red stones he could shape the soft mass into cups and bowls. Copper became so useful that man began to mine for it and make all sorts of utensils out of it.
Copper was the only workable metal known to man for thousands of years. The problem with gold, for example, was that it was too scarce, and also too soft to be practical.
It is believed that when the Egyptians built their pyramids they used copper tools. And a piece of copper pipe used by the Egyptians more than five thousand years ago has been found. It is still in good condition!
The use of copper for many purposes dropped when the iron was discovered. Today, bronze (copper and tin) and brass (copper and zinc) are two ways in which a great deal of copper is used. In fact, aside from iron and aluminum, copper is the metal most used in the world today.