A Little History of Communication Platforms

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With a myriad of audio, video, and digital communication platforms we have today to immediately disseminate more information than ever in history it’s kind of interesting to look back how man achieved the same desire to share information….

During an excavation of a medieval road near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russian archaeologists recently unearthed a birchbark letter dating to the fourteenth century. They believe it was written by a servant to his master to describe unforeseen travel expenses on a debt collection journey.

For many years I’ve collected religious artifacts. One of my most treasured items is the teachings of the bible written in Sanskrit on banana tree leaves bound together by a cord so they can fan out and be read as a learning tool.

Before the birchbark or banana leaves the Inca’s in Peru encoded and recorded information with cryptic knotted strings known as khipu. Dr. Gary Urton, of Harvard, writes, “The knots appeared to be arranged in coded sequences analogous to the process of writing binary number (1/0) coded programing for computers.”

And before that there were petroglyphs etched into cave walls. Petroglyphs then knotted strings then Birchbark and parchment were “technological” advancements in communication for their times.

What will be interesting to see are the technological advances still waiting for us.  An email in the future might seem as old fashioned as the birchbark.