Science, Tech, Math › Science Who Was the First Chemist? Founder of Chemistry Share Flipboard Email Print Perfume burner from Assyrian civilization, 13th Century BC. Many consider the first practical chemistry took place in ancient Mesopotamia. DEA / A. DAGLI ORTI, Getty Images Science Chemistry Famous Chemists Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated October 01, 2018 The first known chemist was a woman. A Mesopotamian cuneiform tablet from the second millennium B.C. describes Tapputi, a perfumer and palace overseer who distilled the essences of flowers and other aromatic materials, filtered them, added water and returned them to the still several times until she got just what she wanted. This is also the first known reference to the process of distillation and the first recorded still.