Q:

Who discovered lead?

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Quick Answer

According to Jefferson Lab and Chemistry Explained, it is not possible to tell exactly who discovered lead, however, it has been in use since before Roman times. According to Chemistry Explained, lead sulfide, PbS, is a common lead-bearing ore, and the element has been extracted for thousands of years.

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Full Answer

While lead is the heaviest element in the carbon group, it does not look or behave like carbon. It has an atomic mass of 207.2 and an atomic number of 82. Its symbol on the periodic table, Pb, comes from the Roman word “plumbum."

According to Chemistry Explained, lead was often used by ancient civilizations to make pipes, pots and pottery glazes, as well as for many other items.

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