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date: 29 May 2024


The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology

Timothy Darvill

[Th]An interpretative narrative concerning aspects of what happened in the past and the relationships between events and humanity; the end product of historiography as either the process of writing history or the study of that process. Traditionally, history is chronologically subdivided into ancient history, late antiquity and medieval history, and modern history, thematically into interests such as economic, social, and political history, and geographically into the study of particular areas. A distinguishing feature of history which sets it apart from other studies of the human past (e.g. archaeology, anthropology, ethnography, sociology, etc.) is its methodology, which relies heavily on the critical use of documentary sources created by or about the society under scrutiny. Primary sources are those produced near the event under investigation; secondary sources are works of other, later writers. Inevitably such investigations concentrate on societies where writing has been adopted, although other sources are sometimes used to extend the field of enquiry. ... ...

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