Prehistory generally refers to the time before writing was invented and practiced, while history typically refers to the time period after which written records still exist. However, there is no clear dividing line between the two periods.
History generally refers to events that were recorded. The Greeks wrote extensively about their culture and other cultures, and most of history after Greek times is well documented. However, the civilizations in the New World did not leave behind extensive notes, so prehistory refers to a later date for North and South America.
Experts debate whether early Egyptian culture should be considered prehistoric. While the Egyptians had a writing system, no paper documents have been discovered, so the history people have access to today is limited. Other cultures took extensive notes of Egyptian culture later, but it is unclear if their documents are reliable.
Other experts argue about when the prehistoric period ended. Most ancient writing is forever lost, and people have access to what survives primarily through translations and copies. The veracity of this information is difficult to determine, and translators and transcribers sometimes add or remove information accidentally or on purpose. Most of human history is not recorded. The only way to determine how early human civilizations functioned is by examining where they lived and what they left behind.Learn More
All living organisms respond to stimuli, grow and change, reproduce to create offspring, maintain a stable body temperature, metabolize energy, consist of one or more cells, and pass on their individual genetic traits. For something to be classified scientifically as a living creature, it must possess all of these characteristics.Full Answer >
The Virtual Fossil Museum states that Precambrian fossils mostly derive from organisms called stromatolites. Stromatolites are presumed to be among the world's oldest fossils. The existence of stromatolites is important, because stromatolite fossils are a window into the earth's distant past that allows scientists to understand the foundation of evolution.Full Answer >
Australia is believed to be the oldest continent. The fossils found there are remains of the earliest life on earth, dating back millions of years. Evolutionists know Australia to be a continent with some of the most unique collections of life.Full Answer >
Lucy is the name bestowed upon an early hominid fossil by anthropologist Donald Johanson when he and his student, Tom Gray, discovered it in 1974. The discovery has been crucially important to understanding human evolution as the fossil's age is estimated at around 3.2 million years.Full Answer >