An ancient postal system

I just traded this fascinating card from @ARS6161

It is a chaparkhane or Chapar Khaneh in the town of Aqda, Iran. The Chapar Khaneh were postal stops established by Cyrus the Great (c. 600–530 BC) where the caravans would stop to resupply and pick up mail to take onwards. Many people think that postal systems started in the 17th or 18th centuries but this is clearly a much older concept, at least in some parts of the world!

Does anyone else know of other postal systems from before the 1600s?


Very likely China, India, Japan & other parts of the Middle East had systems well before 1600’s.


The Roman empire had a postal system called cursus publicus which was developed during the reign of Augustus (27 BC - 14 AD). It was mainly used for official correspondence with the colonies, if I remember correctly


The Chinese had a system of government post dating back to the Zhou Dynasty


Royal Mail in the United Kingdom is over 500 years old, and is one of the oldest postal systems still in existence. Royal Mail was established in 1516.


During the Roman era in my country, the Roman castle Gerulata, part of the Limes Romanus built in the 2nd century in which there was a Roman post station.
In this image you can see a fragment of a Roman postal milestone from AD 253 found in Gerulata.

This postal milestone inscribes the distance between Gerulata and Carnuntum (for Roman “postmen”), Carnuntum - the capital city of the Roman province of Pannonia (now Austria :austria:).