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pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chemistry is an ancient pursuit. At this point no one person can be named as the inventor or discoverer of chemistry, but we can name some specific landmark discoveries to get a sense of how long chemistry has been important to humankind. One could make a case for chemistry as a practical art dating back to the pigment formulation for cave paintings from 35,000 years ago.

During the reign of Hammurabi in ancient Babylon, around 1700 BCE, the known metals were being studied, and their properties were being linked by astronomers to the heavenly bodies. This is the oldest example of formal theoretical chemistry that we know of.

Almost 1300 years later, in 430 BCE, the Greek philosopher Democritus put forth his theory that all matter is made of tiny particles called atoms.

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