The name copper derives from the Latin word Cuprum, Cuprum however is an abbreviation for the original name Cyprium, meaning Cyprus metal. The reason for this was that in Cyprus they mined large amounts of copper for the Roman Empire. The main use was coins, which remain even today.
They also made mirrors from copper. The metal was associated with beauty and the goddess Venus from Roman mythology and Aphrodite in Greek mythology. The symbol for copper is the mirror-like symbol that is also used for the female sex.
Aphrodite and Venus represented the copper in both mythology and alchemy because of its lustrous beauty, its ancient use in producing mirrors, and its association with Cyprus, which was sacred to the goddess. The seven celestial bodies known to the ancient astrologers associated with the seven metals that were known in ancient times and the planet Venus was assigned to copper.
Even though iron was used increasingly copper and its alloys were still sought after materials, mainly thanks to its durability and beauty.
The use of alloying copper with zinc or tin to manufacture brass and bronze was practiced relatively soon after the discovery of copper. Bronze Artefacts from the Sumerian cities and Egyptian artefacts of copper and bronze alloy can be dated back to 3000 B.C. even before the Bronze Age, which is considered to have occurred during the period 2500 BC to 600 BC, when the use of bronze was widespread in Europe. The transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age is termed the Chalcolithic period (Copper Stone), when people used copper tools parallel with stone tools.
Brass was known to the Greeks, and quickly became an important complement to bronze during the Roman Empire heyday.
Most deposits stood at the north of the island.
Today the copper mines are closed down and only a small extraction of metals exists.