How Did People Communicate in the Past?

did-people-communicate-past Grand Canyon National Park/CC-BY 2.0

Speech comes naturally to most people, and spoken language was probably the first formal communications system evolved by humans. For most of human history, the spoken word was the primary method of communication among human beings.

Writing was invented around 3500 B.C. It arose independently several times among the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Sumerians and Minoans, among others. At first, writing was confined to clay and stone tablets, with lightweight paper invented in about 500 B.C.

The advent of instantaneous communications came only with the magnetic telegraph in the early 19th century. Electronic communications only became wireless after 1894, when Marconi developed radio transmission technology.