NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

ca - 2400 BC __ Courier service in Egypt
Comment : Mail, or post (postal system), is a method for transmitting information and tangible objects, wherein written documents, and also small packages containing other matter, are delivered to destinations around the world. Anything sent through the postal system is called mail or post. Communication via written documents that an intermediary carrys from one person or place to another almost certainly dates back almost to the invention of writing. The development of a formal postal system comes much later, however. The first documented use of an organized courier service for the diffusion of written documents is in Egypt, where Pharaohs used couriers for the diffusion of their decrees in the territory of the State (2400 BC). This practice almost certainly has roots in the much older practice of oral messaging and may have been built on a pre-existing infrastructure. The first credible claim for the development of a real postal system comes from Assyria or from Persia, but the point of invention remains in question. Other sources claim much earlier dates for an Assyrian postal system, with credit given to Hammurabi (1700 BC) and Saragon II (722 BC). Mail may not have been the primary mission of this postal service, however. The role of the system as an intelligence gathering apparatus is well documented, and the service was (later) called “angariae”, a term that in time turned to indicate a tax system. The Old Testament (Esther, VIII) makes mention of this system: Ahasuerus, king of Medes, used couriers for communicating his decisions. (Compiled from Wikipedia)
Source : Krebs, Robert E. & Krebs, Carolyn A. (2003), Groundbreaking scientific experiments, inventions, and discoveries of the ancient world, Greenwood Publishing Group, pp. 101-103.
Urls : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail (last visited )

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