Discovery and extraction of metals

Classic ages of human history

Stone age (2,198,000 BC-3000 BC)

7,000 bc - 3000 bc

Stone age began approximately 2,198,000 BCE

Copper age (3000 BC - 2500 BC)

3000 bc - 2500 bc

Bronze age (2500 BC-1000 BC)

2500 bc - 1000 bc

Iron age (1000 BC- 1800 AD)

1000 bc - 1800 ad

Contemporary history (Modern Metal age 1800 AD - Now)

1800 ad - 2000 ad

Discovery of metals and alloys

Gold (6000 BC)

6000 bc

Copper (4200 BC)

4200 bc

Lead (3500 BC)

3500 bc

Bronze (2500 BC)

2500 bc

Iron (1500 BC)

1500 bc

Steel (1400 BC)

1400 bc

Titanium (1791 AD)

1791 ad

Aluminium (1825 AD)

1825 ad

Francium (1939 AD)


Extraction method

Gold - found uncombined in nature

6000 bc

Copper- extracted in a ancient copper kiln

4200 bc

The kiln is lined with stones and clay the sulfide ore is added. Then the air is blown into it from goatskin bellows or people. The by product (slag) is removed an copper solidifies at the base of the kiln.

Lead- Lead minerals extracted in a stone furnace

3500 bc

Bronze- is an alloy( made from copper and tin)

2500 bc

It is stronger than copper but has a lower melting point improving malleability

Iron- extracted by calcination and then smelting iron ore

1500 bc

calcination is when the iron ore is heated in the absences of air causing carbonates to turn into oxides. Smelting refers to the heating at higher temperatures in a blast furnace

Steel- Smelting iron ore and mix of other metals

1400 bc

Steel is an alloy and made up of iron, carbon and other metals

Titanium- extracted by metal displacement with sodium or magnesium


Aluminium- bayer process and electrolysis in cryolite solution


Aluminium is extracted from the ground in compounds, it is the purified to aluminium oxide in the bayer process(this is a process of refining bauxite to form Aluminium oxide) and then it undergoes electrolysis in a cryolite solution to form aluminium

Francium- last naturally occurring element. Extremely rare