Brill’s New Pauly

Get access

(1,451 words)

[German version]

I. Definition and properties

Pure copper is relatively rare in nature. Also, it quickly turns into secondary minerals through oxidation and therefore was hardly available as a usable material for early cultures. It was obtained through the smelting of copper ores. In metal form, copper can be processed and worked on in many ways. From early on, a large part of the processed copper was used to create alloys with  tin,  lead, and zin…

Cite this page
Riederer, Josef (Berlin) and Wartke, Ralf-B. (Berlin), “Copper”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 22 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

▲   Back to top   ▲