No one knows exactly where or when lead was discovered. What is known is that by Roman times, lead was being widely used, so scientists to believe it has been around for thousands of years.
Lead does not occur in the earth often. During Roman times, lead was used for everything from writing tablets to water pipes. This was long before its dangers became apparent, and it was especially dangerous to those who used lead to make cooking utensils and pots and pans.
The name "lead" has been traced back to the 12th century where Romans referred to it as "plumbum." It is from that word that lead got its chemical symbol, "Pb."