Alchemy Timeline

Main

Egyptian alchemy

5000 bc - 400 bc

Alchemy is believed to have originated in Egypt.

Indian alchemy

1200 bc - 2013 ad

Indian alchemy was strongly related to metallurgy. Nagarjuna was an important Indian alchemist. Alchemy continues to be practiced in India.

Greek alchemy

332 bc - 642 ad

The Greeks studied alchemy at the Library of Alexandria.

Chinese alchemy

142 ad

Wei Boyang wrote The Kinship of the Three.

Islamic alchemy

700 ad - 1400 ad

Islamic alchemy was systematic and had much in common with the science of chemistry. Jābir ibn Hayyān developed an experimental method for alchemy during the Islamic Golden Age.

Islamic chemistry

800 ad - 2013 ad

The Islamic study transitioned from classical alchemy into modern chemistry. Alkindus and Avicenna refuted transmutation, Rhazes refuted the four classical elements, and Tusi discovered conservation of mass.

European alchemy

1300 ad - 2013 ad

European alchemists, such as Saint Albertus Magnus, built upon the foundations of Islamic alchemy. Alchemy is practiced in Europe and in the Western world in modern times.

European chemistry

1661 ad - 2013 ad

Alchemy and chemistry began to diverge. Lavoisier wrote Traité Élémentaire de Chimie (Elements of Chemistry), Boyle wrote The Sceptical Chymist, and Dalton published his Atomic Theory.