A 1,200-year-old telephone, a marvel of ancient invention, surprises almost all who hear about it. Reportedly found in in the ruins of Chan Chan, Peru, the delicate communication artifact is known as the earliest example of telephone technology in the Western Hemisphere.
This seemingly out-of-place-artifact is evidence of the impressive innovation of the coastal Chimu people in the Río Moche Valley of northern Peru. Ramiro Matos, curator of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) told Smithsonian, “This is unique. Only one was ever discovered. It comes from the consciousness of an indigenous society with no written language .”
A man dressed as a Chimu elite or priest among the ruins of Chan Chan, Peru. Johnathan Hood,
How was the Chimu Telephone Made?
The early “telephone” appears to be a rudimentary speech transmission device, much like the “lover’s telephone” that has been known for hundreds of years, but which became popular in the 19th century. The old lover’s telephone was usually comprised of tin cans connected with string, used to speak back and forth; and mostly seen as a novelty. However the ancient Chimu device, described as an instrument, is composed of two gourd tops bound with a length of cord.
- Chan Chan – The Largest Mud-Brick City in the World
- The incredible sound effects of Malta’s Hypogeum Hal Saflieni
- Aztec Death Whistles Sound like Human Screams and May Have Been Used as Psychological Warfare
The gourds, each 3.5 inches (8.9 centimeters) long are coated in resin and act as transmitters and receivers of sound. Around each of the gourd bases is a stretched-hide membrane. The 75-foot (22.8 meter) line connecting the two ends is made of cotton-twine.
The simplicity of the device disguises its archaeological implications.
The enigmatic ancient communication device. Credit: Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
The Mystery of the Precious Ancient Telephone
This one-of-a-kind artifact reportedly predates the earliest research into telephones from 1833 (which began with non-electric string devices) by more than a thousand years.
The gourd-and-string device is too fragile to physically test, but researchers can piece together how the instrument might have worked. What they must continue to speculate on, however, is how the Chimu used this ancient phone: what was its purpose?
As the Chimu are known to have been a top-down society , it stands to reason that only the elite or priest class would have been in possession of such a valuable instrument, posits Matos. The precious telephone, with the seemingly magical ability to channel voices across space to be heard directly in the ear of the receiver was, “a tool designed for an executive level of communication,” according to Matos.
Content created and supplied by: realsneh (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More