Who Was the First Chemist?

Founder of Chemistry

Mesopotamia Chemistry
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

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.