To the thoughtful person of the present day it must appear remarkable that man had inhabited the earth for hundreds of thousands of years before he began to use metals.
During that tremendous lapse of time he had emerged from a state of utter barbarism, and, if we are to believe some scientists, had developed from an animal propelling himself on four legs into a being of human form capable of making implements and weapons for industrial and warlike purposes.
The primitive natives of Egypt, like those of other prehistoric lands, in their search for improvements upon the stone-throwing methods of hunting and warfare of their simian coinhabitants, quickly learnt to fashion very useful implements of flint, and before the beginning of the historic age, the workmanship of these reached a standard of excellence superior to that of any other ancient country.
Egyptian history may be traced back some 5,000 years. Before that, we only know that man existed and that a certain stage of civilisation had been attained immediately prior to the invention of the art of writing, at which point all history begins.
The first general application of metals in Egypt does not appear to have been very much anterior to the invention of writing. No doubt the cutting and engraving of stones upon which records and memoirs were to be made, called for tools of a material less friable than flint, with which it- was only possible to make rough scratchings upon the surface, and the ancients were thus compelled to try other minerals that were lying in plenty around them, being thus led forward to the discovery of metals, which advanced the art of recording thoughts and deeds to an extent now difficult to appreciate.