ERIC Number: ED349593
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Communication Media in Ancient Cultures.
Jabusch, David M.
Interest in early means of communication and in the uses and kinds of media that existed in ancient cultures is starting to grow among communication scholars. Conversation analysis of these cultures is obviously impossible, so that the emphasis must rest with material cultural artifacts. Many ancient cultures used non-verbal codes for dyadic communication. These cultures also applied their ingenuity to the problem of extending communications across distance and space, including smoke and whistle languages. The distinguishing characteristics of whistle languages have been identified. Trade and transportation networks were widely utilized for extending communication beyond the limits of smoke and whistling. Record keeping, often in extensive library facilities, was the primary method for extending communication over time. A particularly sophisticated method of record keeping was the "quipu" used by the Incas of Peru, a system of knotted cords that somewhat resembled old mops. Artworks, such as painting on ceramic vessels, provide insight into cultural lifestyles and information, and often pottery shards contained short notes. Incised stones were sometimes used for the same purposes. In short, what may have been characterized as pre-literate cultures actually possessed a vast array of communication media that were innovative, flexible, adaptive and functional. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication in Societies; Historical Background
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western States Communication Association (63rd, Boise, ID, February 21-25, 1992).