In the Early Bronze Age, the use of metal became more widespread in Cyprus. By about 2400–2300 BC, copper was being cast into standard shapes (such as axe heads), presumably for the purpose of trade.
As the trading of copper became more essential to the economy of the island, a dense communication network developed between villages. Gradually, Cyprus began to export the metal, and the island became known to its neighbors for its rich copper resources.
In the ancient world Cyprus came to mean copper. In fact, the word "copper" is derived from "Cyprus," by way of the Latin term aes cuprum (metal from Cyprus).