Prehistory

prehistory, period of human evolution before writing was invented and records kept. The term was coined by Daniel Wilson in 1851. It is followed by protohistory, the period for which we have some records but must still rely largely on archaeological evidence to provide a coherent account. The study of prehistory is concerned with the activities of a society or culture, not of the individual, and is limited to the material evidence that has survived.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Prehistory: A Very Short Introduction
Chris Gosden.
Oxford University Press, 2003
A Prehistory of the North: Human Settlement of the Higher Latitudes
John F. Hoffecker.
Rutgers University Press, 2005
The Early Upper Paleolithic beyond Western Europe
P. Jeffrey Brantingham; Steven L. Kuhn; Kristopher W. Kerry.
University of California Press, 2004
The Idea of Prehistory
Glyn Edmund Daniel.
World Publication Company, 1963
The Settlement of the Americas: A New Prehistory
Thomas D. Dillehay.
Basic Books, 2000
Prehistoric Britain
Timothy Darvill.
Routledge, 1996
Living on the Lake in Prehistoric Europe: 150 Years of Lake-Dwelling Research
Francesco Menotti.
Routledge, 2004
Prehistory and the Beginnings of Civilization
Jacquetta Hawkes; Leonard Woolley.
Harper & Row, 1963
The Origin of Humankind
Richard Leakey.
Basic Books, 1994
Mankind in the Making: The Story of Human Evolution
William Howells.
Doubleday, 1959
Man before Adam: The Story of Man in Search of His Origins
Robert Silverberg; Judith Ann Lawrence.
Macrae Smith, 1964
Back of History: The Story of Our Own Origins
William Howells.
Doubleday, 1954
War before Civilization
Lawrence H. Keeley.
Oxford University Press, 1997
Piecing Together the Past: The Interpretation of Archaeological Data
V. Gordon Childe.
Frederick A. Praeger, 1956
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Eight "What Happens in Prehistory?"
The Most Ancient East: The Oriental Prelude to European Prehistory
V. Gordon Childe.
Alfred A. Knopf, 1929
Dynamics of Southwest Prehistory
Linda S. Cordell; George J. Gumerman.
Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989
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