Methods of Ancient Communication

Today, we pick up the telephone to communicate one-on-one with an individual or we may use clothing to send out a message to the public. Have you ever wondered what were some of the things that ancient civilizations did to communicate before there were televisions, telephones, cell phones and pagers? In this article, we explore some approaches that hail from 80,000 BCE- 30,000 BCE.


When we bury our dead, we mark the graves with tombstones or statues to signify that one has passed on and that their final resting place is in that location. In 80,000 BCE, Neandetal humans buried their dead in graves and then marked them with a symbolic dye that was reddish-yellow in color. This was uncovered at a site, located in the southwestern part of France.


The first known example of human-made designs are believed to date back to 77,000 BCE, when archaic Homo Sapiens living in the Blomos Cave in the southern part of Africa, left behind a collection of earliest known tools and other items. The tools were made from bone and were thought to be used during the process of fishing. The earliest known fishing gear was thought to be uncovered and more than 8,000 pieces of ocher, which was thought to be used to decorate the body. It seems that two of the ocher specimens were smoothed to flatness in a deliberate fashion. Geometric designs were etched on them, making it one of the first examples of designs that were created by a human.


In 45,000 BCE, a Neaandertal Tata site, located in Hungary, produced some of the earliest known carvings. Some of the objects that were discovered included a mammoth tooth that had been carved into, as well as other bone object displaying designs. The site also offered a variety of ground pigments. In a South African site, located at Border Cave, example of some of the earliest forms of jewelry were found, which included a creation made from ostrich-shell beads.


During this time, the oldest known musical instrument also made its debut. It originated from the bone of an antelope, which was perforated in one area. It is believed to have served as a whistle of some sort. Clearly recognizable whistles are found about 15,000 years later.


In 44,000 BCE, the oldest painted art is believed to be found. It is said that the ancestors of the Apollo-11 site, which is established in the Orange River Valley area in Namibia, let behind painted slabs. The fragments of these slabs were uncovered between 1969 and 1972. When 40,000 BCE rolls around, humans that were living in Eurasia were wearing an assortment of jewelry, including pins, pendants, bracelets, rings, as well as beads.


As the artistic progress of early man increased, the earliest recovered image of an animal, as well as animal paintings are thought to date back to 30,000 BCE. The carving of a horse on mammoth ivory was located near Germany, which is also attributed as being the first found animal carving. Many animal images started to appear, depicting lions, bison, mammoths and horses. Paintings of animal started to spring up as well. In the southeastern section of France, the Chauvet Cave offered a look at an array of painting displays. This is considered to be the first large find of paintings throughout Europe.