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Definition of 'prehistoric'

Predating recorded history or the existence of written records.
"The cave paintings provided a glimpse into prehistoric art and symbolism."

Detailed Meaning of 'prehistoric'

It refers to a time before the advent of written language or the availability of written records to document human activities and events. The term is commonly associated with the Stone Age, when early humans relied on stone tools and had not yet developed complex civilizations or written forms of communication. Prehistoric can also describe the geological or paleontological eras before the appearance of human beings on Earth. It refers to a time when human knowledge and understanding of the world were limited to oral traditions, archaeological artifacts, and scientific research. Prehistoric periods are characterized by the absence of written historical records, leaving researchers to rely on other sources of evidence, such as fossils, cave paintings, tools, and other archaeological discoveries, to gain insights into the lives and cultures of ancient civilizations.


Examples of 'prehistoric' in a Sentence

1. The archaeologists unearthed prehistoric tools, shedding light on early human civilizations.
2. The museum displayed prehistoric fossils of long-extinct species.
3. The researchers discovered a prehistoric settlement, revealing ancient dwellings and artifacts.
4. The prehistoric bones found in the excavation site offered clues about early human anatomy.
5. The prehistoric era was marked by the dominance of megafauna such as mammoths and saber-toothed tigers.
6. The documentary explored the mysteries of prehistoric civilizations and their cultural practices.

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Origins & Etymology of 'prehistoric'

The adjective 'prehistoric' has its etymology rooted in two words: 'pre,' meaning 'before,' and 'historic,' which pertains to recorded history or written records. When combined, 'prehistoric' conveys the idea of events, periods, or times that occurred before the advent of recorded history. It is often used to describe the ancient times when humans lived and events transpired long before written records existed. 'Prehistoric' serves as a useful term in archaeology and anthropology to categorize and study human civilizations and cultures that left behind no written documentation but are known through the examination of archaeological artifacts, fossils, and other evidence. The etymology of 'prehistoric' highlights its essence as a descriptor for times and events that predate recorded history and the development of written records.


How to pronounce prehistoric (audio)


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