Difference between History and Prehistory

Difference between History and Prehistory is explained here in detail. This topic is important from the perspective of History Syllabus. Human prehistory is the period between the use of the first stone tools and the invention of writing systems. History is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization of past events. The difference between History and Prehistory elaborated here can help the UPSC Civil Service exam aspirants to understand the basics better and know their comparisons thoroughly.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Difference between History and Prehistory – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Difference between History and Prehistory

The major differences between History vs Prehistory are:

History Prehistory
The study of time period succeeding prehistory is called history The study of the time period preceding history is called prehistory. 
History is the study of the past starting from the time period when the writing system was introduced and written records were maintained. Prehistory is the study of the past, even before writing was invented and written records were maintained. It is the study of the time period between the usage of stone tools and the invention of the writing system.
Written records of the past events are the source of information. Artefacts, Carvings on rocks etc are the sources of information while studying prehistory.
Research on History is carried out by historians. Rare manuscripts written on leaves, dried animals skins, and papers are some of the sources used to study history. Research on prehistory is carried out by archaeologists and anthropologists who use excavation, geology, molecular genetics, palaeontology etc. Hence a wide variety of social and natural sciences are used to study prehistory.
Study of History can be classified into different domains like Ancient History, Contemporary History, Modern History, Political History, Military History, Cultural History, Economic History, Environmental History, History based on different Geographical locations, People’s history, Intellectual history etc. Prehistory studies 3 different time periods – stone age, bronze age and iron age.

These are the main differences between History and Prehistory. The differences given in the above table can help the UPSC Civil Service Exam aspirants to answer any related questions easily in the exams.

After learning about the History and Prehistory difference, it is better to learn the NCERT Notes on Modern Indian History, History of Ancient India, History of Medieval India, Prehistoric Age in India, Prehistoric Age in India, Prehistoric Rock Paintings; Art, Culture, Literature and Architecture thoroughly. Visit the below-given links to learn about Modern Indian History, History of Ancient India, History of Medieval India, Prehistoric age in India, Prehistoric rock paintings; art, culture, literature and architecture in detail along with other information.

UPSC Civil Service Exam aspirants should diligently study the Indus Valley Civilization – 100 Must-Know Facts, as it is an extremely important component of UPSC Civil Service Exam Syllabus.

Difference between History and Prehistory – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Frequently Asked Questions about History and Prehistory

What is the meaning of prehistory?

Prehistory, the vast period of time before written records or human documentation, includes the Neolithic Revolution, Neanderthals and Denisovans, Stonehenge, the Ice Age and more.

What is the difference between the history and prehistory?

History can be generally defined as the past, and how past relates to the human lives. The main difference between history and prehistory is the existence of records; history is the recorded events of the past whereas Prehistory is the time before writing was introduced.

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2021.

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