Copper was used by ancient cultures, and there is no known person responsible for its discovery. However, estimates place its discovery at about 9,000 BC in the Middle East, according to ProQuest. Functional copper tubing has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs. It is believed to have been one of the first metals ever worked by human beings.
At one time, copper was very abundant. Its red color made it easy to identify. Copper is very malleable. By mixing it with other metals, one can create a hard alloy to make tools and other objects. The first alloy produced was bronze, which is made by mixing copper and tin. Bronze was so important in making tools that the Bronze Age, ranging from 4,000 to 3,000 BC was named for it.
The use of copper marked the end of the Neolithic Age, as human beings were able to replace stone tools with those created with the new science of metallurgy. Our insight into such ancient history is limited, but copper tools and ornaments are dated as far back as 8700 B.C.E. in Fertile Crescent regions such as modern-day Iraq.