• Probably iron.
  • I don't know that we can really say which metal was first known to man. However, it appears that the first metal that was actually used for tools was bronze. jwmbiz, copper is generally too soft to use for tools. The pre-Columbian Americans did develop a process for making copper tools that are harder than steel. However, I am pretty sure that this came sometime after the invention of bronze tools in the old world and there is no evidence for this process having been discovered elsewhere. It is a lost technology. We don't know how they did it. We only know that they did because we have found some of the tools they left behind. ************************** doggerd, Tell that to the anceint Americans and the archeologist that have found the tools.
  • The first metals known to man were gold, silver, and copper. They are widespread over the earth in pure form and often very near the surface. Gold and Silver were used for decorations, but are not hard enough to make tools. Copper is hard enough for some tools but still quite soft. Eventually man learned to melt and mix copper with tin to make bronze, which is a much harder metal than pure copper, and thus much better for weapons and armor. That event marks the end of the Stone Age and the beginning of the Bronze Age. The Iron Age began when man learned how to make very hot furnaces, hot enough to forge iron out of iron ore. Iron does not occur on earth naturally as a metal (except in meteors), it is always in the form of iron ore, which is why it took so long for people to recognize it as a metal. The ore had to be heated very hot, until it was soft, then the impurities had to be beaten out of it, since they could not make fires hot enough to melt it. But the superior strength and hardness of iron made it worth all the hard work. The Hittites of Asia Minor were the first iron workers, and managed to conquer quite a bit of the Middle East.
  • Since the question is about the knowledge of the metal and not its usage as a tool, the answer is copper. In Cyprus, for example, copper was used often for many things like the the creation of little figurines. In the Americas the timeline works a bit different perhaps, while they didn't discover copper until much later, they still discovered it and utliized it without being introduced from outside sources. On an excavation last summer I found a copper awl (which is a tool) in Minnesota that can be dated as early as 800 B.C. While I was excavating in Cyprus however, I found a copper mining site that dated to 1100 B.C. and they had long since moved through bronze and iron, but still were using copper, too. It really is a broader question that it at first sounds, but over and over people keep finding copper first.
  • "Process Metallurgy is one of the oldest applied sciences. Its history can be traced back to 6000 BC. Admittedly, its form at that time was rudimentary, but, to gain a perspective in Process Metallurgy, it is worthwhile to spend a little time studying the initiation of mankind's association with metals. Currently there are 86 known metals. Before the 19th century only 24 of these metals had been discovered and, of these 24 metals, 12 were discovered in the 18th century. Therefore, from the discovery of the first metals - gold and copper until the end of the 17th century, some 7700 years, only 12 metals were known. Four of these metals, arsenic, antimony , zinc and bismuth , were discovered in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, while platinum was discovered in the 16th century. The other seven metals, known as the Metals of Antiquity, were the metals upon which civilisation was based. These seven metals were: (1) Gold (ca) 6000BC (2) Copper,(ca) 4200BC (3) Silver,(ca) 4000BC (4) Lead, (ca) 3500BC (5) Tin, (ca) 1750BC (6) Iron,smelted, (ca) 1500BC (7) Mercury, (ca) 750BC These metals were known to the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks and the Romans. Of the seven metals, five can be found in their native states, e.g., gold, silver, copper, iron (from meteors) and mercury. However, the occurrence of these metals was not abundant and the first two metals to be used widely were gold and copper. And, of course, the history of metals is closely linked to that of coins and gemstones After the seven metals of antiquity: gold, silver, copper, mercury, tin , iron and lead, the next metal to be discovered was Arsenic in the 13th century by Albertus Magnus. Arsenicus (arsenious oxide) when heated with twice its weight of soap became metallic."
  • Id say Iron
  • Tin and copper. But together they made the first "supermetal" of bronze. Hence the Bronze age came before the iron age.
  • Hmm! Ever heard of Bronze Age?

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