The earliest documented use of copper was around 9000 B.C. in the Middle East, according to ProQuest, making it one of the oldest metals known. A copper pendant found in northern Iraq dates back to at least 8700 B.C.
While copper was known to primitive humans for thousands of years, most early copper artifacts came from cold-working the metal to produce tools. Smelting copper was a common practice throughout the Middle East by 4500 B.C., with some of the first copper smelting sites discovered in Israel, Egypt and Jordan. The frozen caveman Otzi was found with an incredibly pure copper axe head in his possession, and the arsenic traces found in his hair suggested he worked with the metal regularly.