Tag Archives: hydraulic telegraph

Yakety-Yak, How We Do Talk Back: The Hydraulic Telegraph of Aeneas – Long-distance Communication of Antiquity

communicationThrough the ages humans have sought to communicate with each other. On a primal level, language developed out of necessity:  “Sabre-toothed tiger…run!” or “Fire…ow!” served obvious purposes and were intended to preserve the species. Memorializing their lives was a common force driving early cultures, and communication took many forms. Lacking any type of writing, people relied on memory, oral histories, art, monuments and other elements to document who they were.  The ability to communicate and record contemporary times became more important as societies evolved and grew. The passing centuries brought the realization that in communicating with others, there were limitations to perfecting a memory, drawing pictures and shouting to the next village (hoarseness being a little known driver of human innovation). As a result, the 3rd – 4th centuries BCE found the Phoenicians creating an alphabet and the Sumerians devising cuneiform writing (pictographs on clay tablets). The Egyptians were also hard at work recording their life and times through hieroglyphics. Here’s a look at some other advances we take for granted today that are courtesy of our ever-chattering ancestors[1]: Continue reading