What is the difference between history and prehistory?


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.

Q&A Related to "What is the difference between history and prehistory..."
prehistory: the time during the development of human culture before the appearance of the written word
Ancient (duhhh)
Prehistory-a history of the antecedents of an event, situation, or thing. Thanks for doing
These three would make a really nice trilogy on human origins. 1) The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins - takes you from the primordial soup to the origins of life and into complex
1 Additional Answer
Ask.com Answer for: What Is Prehistory
[pree-his-tuh-ree, -his-tree]
human history in the period before recorded events, known mainly through archaeological discoveries, study, research, etc.; history of prehistoric humans.
a history of the events or incidents leading to a crisis, situation, or the like.
Source: Dictionary.com
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