People have known of the existence of sulfur since ancient times, with the earliest written record dating back to Assyrian texts from around 700 to 600 B.C. Additional mentions are found in the poetry of Homer from the ninth century B.C.
The use of sulfur in warfare dates back to at least 424 B.C. The 12th-century Chinese discovery of gunpowder furthered the possible uses of sulfur. During this time, sulfur was frequently used in alchemy. The scientific community began to view sulfur as an element around 1777. The British scientist John Dalton published examinations of sulfur as an element in 1803 and 1807.