Asian Geographic

Copper

AROUND 9,000 BCE

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Found in Nature in vast quantities, copper is mostly locked away in Earth’s crust, occurring in oxidised states and in combinatio­n with other metals. But copper also occurs naturally in an uncombined form, and this native metallic copper, with its unmistakab­le reddish-orange hue, became the first metal used widely by ancient cultures, with the oldest artefacts dating back to around 9,000 BCE in the Middle East. It would take thousands of years before the first copper was extracted from ore, the oldest archaeolog­ical evidence of copper making by this method from around 5,500 BCE in Serbia.

 ?? IMAGE © SHUTTERSTO­CK ??
IMAGE © SHUTTERSTO­CK

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