(redirected from prehistorians)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


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 Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In other words, as the prehistorian Henry de Lumley-Woodyear states: "It implies the conception of models and the emergence of conceptual thinking" (1999: 173 author's translation).
Every expert I spoke to, from early-modern specialists back to prehistorians, claimed that their age had witnessed the 'birth' of something.
Between 2006 and 2009, the excavation was resumed by a new team of prehistorians and faunal experts of the French mission.
Indeed, one can see that structures of various kinds could greatly limit the active choices that past peoples could make, something that prehistorians might like to notice.
The book is meant for Aegean prehistorians, those writing the history of archaeology, librarians, and students.
Here, matriarchal study groups outside mainstream academic research have alienated themselves from academic prehistorians, including most feminists, through their rejection of the historical processes of gathering and evaluating evidence.
Archeologists and prehistorians still debate the cape's original use.
For this reason an archaeology department often houses prehistorians (who favour a natural science approach) and proto-historians (who favour a humanistic approach).
Archaeologists, prehistorians and palaeontologists surmise that Aboriginal people may have found their way to Australia perhaps forty, perhaps a hundred thousand years ago.
Ritual is frequently posited as the origin of art by prehistorians and anthropologists insofar as they see art as arising as a sort ofsymbolmaldng for the purpose of religious ritual.
The monograph is an essential addition to any Arctic library collection and to the bookshelves of Arctic prehistorians.
It will be of great interest to prehistorians of Latin America in providing an up-to-date summary and reference guide to the time period and region.