How Did Communication Happen in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, communication played a critical role in the development of human civilization. From cave drawings to smoke signals, our ancestors used various means to convey messages and connect with each other. Let’s take a closer look at how communication happened in ancient times.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication was the primary means of communication in ancient times. People used spoken language to communicate with each other. However, as civilizations grew larger and more complex, verbal communication became increasingly challenging.

Written Language

One of the most significant advancements in ancient communication was the development of written language. The earliest known form of written language was cuneiform, which was developed by the Sumerians around 3500 BCE.

Fun Fact: Cuneiform was inscribed on clay tablets using a reed stylus.

As writing spread throughout the world, people began developing new writing systems. For instance, the Egyptians developed hieroglyphics, while the Chinese developed their own unique system of writing.

Pictograms and Symbols

Before written language existed, people used pictograms and symbols to communicate ideas. Pictograms are images that represent objects or concepts. For instance, a drawing of an animal might represent that animal.

Symbols are abstract images that represent ideas or concepts. For instance, an image of a sun might represent warmth or light.

Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication refers to any form of communication that doesn’t involve spoken words. Here are some examples:

Cave Paintings

Some of the earliest forms of non-verbal communication were cave paintings. Our ancestors painted images on cave walls to tell stories and communicate ideas.

Fun Fact: Some cave paintings date back as far as 40,000 years ago!

Smoke Signals

Smoke signals were a means of long-distance communication that were used by many ancient cultures. People would build fires and create smoke signals to send messages over long distances.

Drums and Horns

In some cultures, people used drums and horns to communicate. They would use different patterns or rhythms to convey specific messages.


Communication has come a long way since ancient times. Today, we have access to phones, computers, and the internet, which allow us to communicate with people all over the world instantly.

However, it’s essential to remember that our ancestors developed many of the communication methods that we still use today. From cave paintings to written language, their innovations paved the way for modern communication.