How Do People Send Messages in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, people did not have the luxury of sending messages through electronic devices like we do today. They had to rely on other means to communicate with each other. Let’s take a look at some of the ways people sent messages in ancient times.

Smoke Signals

One of the earliest methods of long-distance communication was the use of smoke signals. This method was used by various cultures, including Native Americans and Ancient Chinese. Smoke signals involved creating a fire and using the smoke to send a message.

How did it work?

The person sending the message would build a fire and wait for it to produce a significant amount of smoke. They would then cover the fire with a blanket or mat, causing the smoke to gather underneath it. The person would then lift the covering in specific patterns, creating different shapes and patterns with the smoke.

  • The shape and number of puffs could represent different letters or phrases.
  • The distance between puffs could indicate spaces between words.
  • The duration of each puff could represent different meanings.

Morse Code

Another popular method used for long-distance communication was Morse code, which was invented in the early 19th century by Samuel Morse. It is still used today in some circumstances, such as by amateur radio operators.

Morse code uses dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The sender would use a device called a telegraph key that produced these dots and dashes when pressed down.

  • A short press represented a dot.
  • A longer press represented a dash.
  • Spaces were used to separate letters, while longer spaces were used to separate words.

Pigeon Post

Another method of communication was using pigeons to carry messages. This method was used extensively in ancient times and continued to be used until the early 20th century.

Pigeons have a natural ability to find their way home from long distances. This innate ability was exploited by people who trained the birds to carry messages.

Pigeon post involved attaching a small message to the bird’s leg and releasing it at the desired location. The pigeon would then fly back home, carrying the message with it.


These are just a few of the methods people used to send messages in ancient times. While these methods may seem primitive compared to today’s technology, they were highly effective for their time and played a crucial role in shaping human history.