There is no definitive answer for who actually discovered copper, but archaeological evidence does show that copper has likely been used by ancient people for the last 11,000 years. Copper's name is derived from the Latin word cuprum, which translates to "from the island of Cyprus." Cyprus is where the ancient Roman Empire originally retrieved the majority of its copper.
Copper was first alloyed with other metals to create brass and bronze around 5,000 years ago. Bronze was produced by the Romans by mixing tin and copper, and it was used to manufacture containers, tools, ornamental items and weaponry. The Romans also forged brass by combining zinc and copper, which was used to make kettles, ornamental objects and coins.