Early Man and the Stone Age decade: a period of 10 years
century: a period of 100 years
circa or c.: a word historians use when they are not sure of an exact date. It means “around’, or “about”.
BC: a term used to identify events that happened before the birth of Jesus Christ
BCE: another way to say BC; it means “before the common era”
AD: a term used to identify dates after Jesus’ birth. It comes from the Latin phrase “anno Domini” which means “in the year of our Lord.”
CE: another way to say AD. It means “common era.”
prehistory: the time before there was writing. Writing is thought to have been invented about 5,000 years ago.
To learn about prehistoric times and the very first humans, we must rely on fossil remains and artifacts discovered by archeologists and anthropologists. Discoveries of ancient bones give us information about early humans and their ancestors, but not all scientists agree on the meaning of these discoveries. Scientists develop theories based on what they find, since there are no written records to tell us specifically about these times.
fossils: a part or imprint of something that was once alive. Bones and footprints preserved in rock are examples of fossils.
tool: a handheld object that has been modified to help a person accomplish a task (do a job, or work)
artifact: a simple object (like a tool or ornament, coin, pottery, or toy) showing human workmanship or modification; objects created and used by humans.
archeology: the study of the past based on things that people left behind.
“The purpose of history is not the reader’s enjoyment at the moment of perusal (reading it), but the reformation (improvement) of the reader’s soul, to save him from stumbling at the stumbling block many times over.”
Polybius, The Histories, vol. XXXVII primary source: an account of an event created by someone who took part in or witnessed the event.