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Metals of antiquity

The phrase "metals of antiquity" refers to the seven metals which humankind had identified and found use for in the so-called "ancient days". These seven metals, gold, copper, silver, lead, tin, iron, and mercury, are the seven metals upon which modern civilization—at least Western civilization—was founded.

Of these seven metals, five can be found in their native states (gold, silver, copper, iron, and mercury). The other two, tin and lead, must be smelted from ore; however, both smelt at low enough temperatures that a simple campfire is sufficiently hot to do so, at least with ores that were available in ancient times.

Of all the metals that are now known to exist (86, as of 2007), only these seven were known to man up until the 13th century (when arsenic was first isolated).


  • History of Metals.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Metals_of_antiquity". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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