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© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Prehistory: Selected full-text books and articles

World Prehistory: A Brief Introduction By Brian M. Fagan; Nadia Durrani Routledge, 2017 (9th edition)
Prehistory and the Beginnings of Civilization By Leonard Woolley; Jacquetta Hawkes Harper & Row, 1963
Prehistoric Britain By Timothy Darvill Routledge, 1996
The Early Upper Paleolithic beyond Western Europe By P. Jeffrey Brantingham; Steven L. Kuhn; Kristopher W. Kerry University of California Press, 2004
The Idea of Prehistory By Glyn Edmund Daniel World Publication Company, 1963
Man before Adam: The Story of Man in Search of His Origins By Robert Silverberg; Judith Ann Lawrence Macrae Smith, 1964
War before Civilization By Lawrence H. Keeley Oxford University Press, 1997
Piecing Together the Past: The Interpretation of Archaeological Data By V. Gordon Childe Frederick A. Praeger, 1956
Librarian's tip: Chap. Eight "What Happens in Prehistory?"
Dynamics of Southwest Prehistory By Linda S. Cordell; George J. Gumerman Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989
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