From the beginnings of humanity, man searched, tirelessly and sometimes unsuccessfully, to answer a crucial question: What is every extant thing made of? The ideas about the construction of the universe have dominated human curiosity, presented and repeated obstinately in their reflections.
In this context, Chemistry comes to existence almost simultaneously with the emergence of the human being; although it is true that it was not conceived from the start as a science, the first contributions were decisive for its current structure.
From this perspective, this work intends to analyze the level of contribution of the ancient societies to the construction of the object of study of the chemical science.
In order to investigate such object, and given its features, qualitative logics will be privileged. The methodology put into work in the treatment of this issue includes a theoretical sampling with progressive and sequential processes of amplification or reduction of the sample according to the emergent theoretical categories.
Techniques of data gathering and information analysis including the study of primary, secondary and tertiary bibliographical sources are used, spotlighting content analysis. Categories relative to the selected unit of analysis are established, differentiated and codified.
Thus on the table for discussion are facts produced in the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Hindu, Chinese, Greek, Roman and Islamic civilizations, understanding that these civilizations were contributors to the History of Chemistry. Therefore, this work intends to begin from the Practical Chemistry of ancient times, considered as a stage or period that allows for the understanding or comprehension of the first efforts of man to develop works that gave birth to the Chemistry we know nowadays. The naming of this period is related to Chemistry seen as an art, not as a science. It mainly corresponds to the metal extraction and work and to the manufacture of pottery.
Keywords: matter – transformations - chemistry – ancient times