Sometimes we all ask ourselves;

how did our ancestors used to communicate?

well, we can definitively find an answer to that by looking back to the visual proof of communication our ancestors left.

In our own country we can find proof of such elements;

  • Ggantjaggantija-temples
  • Hagar QimLEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

By the examples shown above we can notice visual communication was something entirely different to what it has become nowadays.

Examples of visual communications;

  • sculpture
  • engraving
  • painting
  • body ornamentation
  • music
  • the painstaking decoration of utilitarian objects

To discover more about the first forms of visual communications, we can look back at cave paintings which are stated to be the very first form of communication attempt by humans.

Cave paintings

Humans depicted as to be hunting large deers with their bows. 

Cave paintings originate from more than 40.000 years ago, back to prehistoric times.

Those paintings are found in caves

those paintings mostly represent large wild animals, such as bison, horses, aurochs, and deers, some of the old paintings represent tracings of human hands.

How were those paintings created?

Since, the material we nowadays have access to did not exist 40.000 years ago, humans used material such as;

  • red and yellow ochre
  • hematite
  • manganese oxide
  • charcoal.

The real purpose behind those paintings is not yet entirely known.

More examples of cave paintings.

tracing of human hands
large and wild animals



Petroglyphs were also a form of the earliest attempts in visual communication. The oldest originate from ten to twelve thousand years ago.

What petroglyhps basically are;

large rocks with images sculpted in.

Those images were sculpted by people in the Neolithic age (a new stone era).  Those petroglyphs were considered to be a very important form of communication in that era.

Those symbols are not yet fully understood by us, but they are thought to be some kind of ritual symbols, well also depending on the location and culture.

The weird pattern of those symbols are also defined as hard-wired into the brain as they are kind of representing what a human brain simulates when in drugs effect or similar stimulation.


What are geoglyphs?


Geoglyphs are large drawings on the ground which are generally greater than four metres. As we can see, those kind of drawings are more noticeable from a high altitude.

Those drawings/patterns were created by making use of natural elements such as stones, stone fragments, gravel or earth.

Those natural elements such as stones were placed accordingly so to create a positive drawing.

Some of the most famous and large geoglyphs found in our planet are the Nazca Lines.

Nazca Lines

As other forms of ancient visual communications, the purpose of geoglyphs is yet not known what to be although there are a few theories and questions about geoglyphs. Some people think of them as religious presentations, some even suspect the geoglyphs were not done by humans but some extra terrestrial being.

Well, at the end no one could give an evidence to what the purpose of those attempts of communication really meant but I’m sure we can still appreciate our ancestor’s ancient form of art.

Although nowadays we use more innovative methods of communication, there is no denying that the oldest known forms of visual communication are the elements that made visual communication what it is nowadays.