Archaeologists Discovered 1,200 Year Old Telephone
An ancient telephone device, recovered from the ruins of Chan Chan, the capital of the Kingdom of Chimor in the Rio Moche Valley of the north coast of Peru, is at least 1,200 years old, according to archaeologists.
Experts say it is the earliest known example of telephone technology in human history. It gives evidence of the level of sophistication of the pre-Columbian technological society that existed 1,000 years before Alexander Graham Bell, the Scottish-born engineer who invented the modern telephone in 1833.
The telephone artifact was discovered in Chan Chan, the metropolitan center of the Kingdom of Chimor, about 4 km northwest of present-day Trujillo city in the Rio Moche valley region, between the Pacific Ocean and the western slopes of the Andes.
It is a communication device carefully designed for acoustic efficiency consisting of two gourds linked by a length of cotton twine.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the device was discovered originally by an aristocratic Prussian adventurer, Baron Walram V. Von Schoeler, who excavated the ruins of Chan Chan in the 1930s.
Historians consider the Chimu — as the people the Kingdom of Chimor were called — the first advanced engineering culture in the Americas. The Chimu are admired as skilled artisans who created intricate monochromatic pottery and did metalwork with copper, gold, silver, and bronze.