Sample Chapter – Ancient Egyptian Mail Service

Sample Chapter - Ancient Egyptian Mail Service
Sample Chapter – Ancient Egyptian Mail Service


Sample Chapter
A Short History of Mail Delivery
Chapter title – Ancient Egyptian Mail Service
The Egyptians established the first known courier service sometime around 3000 BC, when the Lower and Upper Kingdoms united. The pharaoh utilized couriers that memorized the message that the monarch wanted sent, then traveled along roads on foot, or using a boat on waterways, to take the message to the intended official. The pharaoh considered these trusted couriers important enough that they would have images of them depicted on the walls of their tombs. Up until the development of papyrus around 2000 BC clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform writing was the main method of recording information. As the Egyptian state increased in complexity, the need for a better system arose. Around 2000 BC the use of papyrus, made from papyrus reed found in the shallower waters of the Nile River, began to be used. This enabled the pharaoh to have messages written on a scroll in hieroglyphics and rolled up. The messenger could take the scroll on to its destination. Some of the earliest messages still survive. Archeologists have discovered a group of messages in the Upper Egyptian city of Tel Al A’marna that record letters written by Amino his, an Egyptian official in Thebes, to an official in Al A’marna, at the time the new Egyptian capital which was called Akhotaton at that time. These were letters written on clay tablets sometime around 1400 BC. Another letter dates from about 2000 BC was from a scribe relating to is son the importance of writing and the bright future it held for those that became scribes.
Official Use Only
The Egyptian couriers were not a regular mail service. Their function was mainly to relay decrees and messages from the pharaoh to his officials and for the officials to communicate with each other and the pharaoh. The system also allowed the pharaoh to maintain a communications line with his military commanders at remote posts.

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