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Linear A etched on tablets found in Akrotiri, Santorini.

Recorded history or written history is a historical narrative based on a written record or other documented communication. Recorded history can be contrasted with other narratives of the past such as mythological or oral traditions.

For world history, recorded history begins with the accounts of the ancient world around the 4th millennium BC, and coincides with the invention of writing. For some regions of the world, written history is limited to a relatively recent period in human history. Moreover, human cultures do not always record all information relevant to later historians, such as natural disasters or the names of individuals; thus, recorded history for particular types of information is limited based on the types of records kept. Because of these limits, recorded history in different contexts may refer to different periods of time depending on the historical topic.

The interpretation of recorded history often relies on historical method, or the set of techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write accounts of the past. The question of the nature, and even the possibility, of a sound historical method is raised in the philosophy of history as a question of epistemology. The study of historical method and writing is known as historiography.


Recorded history sections
Intro  Prehistory  Historical accounts  Methods of recording history  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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