The importance of metallurgy on human culture is so important that scholars typically divide ancient by metalworking ages such as the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Age. Metallurgy provided usages and advancements in the production of weapons and armor, tools, utensils, and pottery.
Originally metals were valued for their natural beauty, but eventually it was found that they could be molded into different forms for a variety of uses. The earliest evidence for smelting, which is the process of extracting an metal by heating an ore, is found in the Balkans and Western Asia around 7500 years ago.
Eventually metals were mixed together to create alloys which provided for strengthened materials.