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Introduction

Definition:
History:
the recorded memory of
human beings
History is the study of
change over time
basically, anything
recorded by man, directly
or indirectly, is history

What do historians do?
Gather information from a specific time
when a CHANGE took place.
They answer 2 questions:
WHY did this change take place
What effects did this change have on the people
who endure it
To avoid making mistakes
Historians gather AS MUCH DATA AS
POSSIBLE
Artifacts (man-made)
Primary docs (written during)
Secondary docs (written after)
When analyzing data
Critical: is the material reliable?
Where did it come from?
What are their credentials?


Is History always Fact?
It is impossible to unearth ALL of the
facts
So, historians fill-in the gaps of missing
information with speculation and
interpretation
These are Educated guesses (hypotheses)

Examples
How did humans first learn to grow
grains?
Never know for certain
But, we can speculate
Dealing with Speculation and
Bias
Historians TRY to be as accurate as
possible
BIAS is always present at some level b/c
they base their theories/explanations on
their interpretation of the evidence
The Result: a blend of fact and opinion
Makes HISTORY controversial AND dynamic

The Entire Picture
What materials MUST Historians gather to have a
complete picture of a particular time period?
Material related to development
Politically (decisions of gov.)
Economically (income/living)
Socially (home/culture/art/music)
Geographically/Environmentally
How the envrionment affected actions/conditions
Pre-History: Definition
anything before humans is pre-history nothing around to record it
before humans, there was no complex thought (brain activity)
capable of knowing there was a past

Lack of Written History
The further back in time we investigate, the
more difficult it is to gather data
Ex. No written records from paleolithic and most
of neolthic age
This makes studying humanity BEFORE civilization
so difficult.
So, theories are constantly challenged
How else is history
passed on?
Orally, written on cave walls, paintings,
diaries
Question: How is history best passed on?
Why?
How do we divide History?
By time: centuries, decades, eras
By ages: Dark Ages, the computer age
Historical time is divided BCE and AD (formerly BC
and AD)
BCE: before common era
AD: Anno Domini (Year of our Lord)