How did ancient people communicate?

Have you ever wondered how ancient people communicated?  Thankfully, they figured it out quite well and created a very effective system in order to communicate.  The ancients, in fact, revolutionized communication throughout their various methods of writing.  Their methods were based on spoken language that was already established by their prehistoric ancestors. They communicated through writing by various forms of media, metal, stone, wood, pottery and wax. But today we would not manage to communicate in such a way, so how did they do?

Well, they used stone inscriptions in order to communicate their messages. And these messages are actually to clear that they are able to be read by future generations. This method was very beneficial for the development of their culture, and these inscriptions were made by the work of a chisel and hammer. There is one belief that the right-to-left direction of the ancient Semitic languages, that being Arabic and Hebrew, possibly came from the fact that the majority of right-handed people found it easier to use the chisel in such a way.


Since metal is a very expensive material, it was very rarely used to communicate during ancient times. However, gold and silver inscriptions have been linked to royal temples and palaces. In ancient Rome, it was common as well as convenient to use bronze tablets instead of storing information on stone.

Wooden boards and tablets were also most likely used a lot, however, it is difficult to know for sure since they mostly have not lasted and therefore have not been examined sufficiently in modern day.  We do know, however, that the ancient Romans, did, in fact, use whitewashed wooden boards in order to post advertisements and announcements.

A more common medium of communication during the ancient times was beeswax that was put in a wooden frame. Sometimes they would be put together in order to create a code that would be used for records, contracts or notes.

Egypt, among other countries, used pottery shards as a regular method of communication. People would inscribe their tax receipts as well as other more temporary information on them.

So maybe if we had to, we too could also use these ancient methods and be just fine.  We would surely save a lot of paper.