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Protohistory The history of the world is the memory of the past experience of Homo sapiens sapiens around the world, as that experience has been preserved, largely in written records. By "prehistory", historians mean the recovery of knowledge of the past in an area where no written records exist, or where the writing of a culture is not understood. By studying painting, drawings, carvings, and other artifacts, some information can be recovered even in the absence of a written record.

Historians in the West have been criticized for focusing disproportionately on the Western world. The line of demarcation between prehistoric and historical times is crossed when people cease to live only in the present, and become consciously interested both in their past and in their future.

History begins with the handing down of tradition; and tradition means the carrying of the habits and lessons of the past into the future. Records of the past begin to be kept for the benefit of future generations. Firstly, it can refer to how history has been produced: Secondly, it can refer to what has been produced: Thirdly, it may refer to why history is produced: As a meta-level analysis of descriptions of the past, this third conception can relate to the first two in that the analysis usually focuses on the narratives, interpretations, world view , use of evidence, or method of presentation of other historians.

Professional historians also debate the question of whether history can be taught as a single coherent narrative or a series of competing narratives. Or the nation state? Are there broad patterns and progress? Is human history random and devoid of any meaning? This section does not cite any sources.

Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. January Learn how and when to remove this template message Philosophy of history is a branch of philosophy concerning the eventual significance, if any, of human history. Furthermore, it speculates as to a possible teleological end to its development—that is, it asks if there is a design, purpose, directive principle, or finality in the processes of human history.

Philosophy of history should not be confused with historiography, which is the study of history as an academic discipline, and thus concerns its methods and practices, and its development as a discipline over time. Nor should philosophy of history be confused with the history of philosophy , which is the study of the development of philosophical ideas through time.

Historical methods A depiction of the ancient Library of Alexandria Historical method basics The following questions are used by historians in modern work. When was the source, written or unwritten, produced date? Where was it produced localization? By whom was it produced authorship? From what pre-existing material was it produced analysis? In what original form was it produced integrity? What is the evidential value of its contents credibility?

The first four are known as historical criticism ; the fifth, textual criticism ; and, together, external criticism. The sixth and final inquiry about a source is called internal criticism. The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write history.

Herodotus of Halicarnassus BC — ca. However, his contemporary Thucydides c. Thucydides, unlike Herodotus, regarded history as being the product of the choices and actions of human beings, and looked at cause and effect , rather than as the result of divine intervention. Greek historians also viewed history as cyclical , with events regularly recurring. For the quality of his written work, Sima Qian is posthumously known as the Father of Chinese historiography.

Chinese historians of subsequent dynastic periods in China used his Shiji as the official format for historical texts , as well as for biographical literature. Through the Medieval and Renaissance periods, history was often studied through a sacred or religious perspective.

Around , German philosopher and historian Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel brought philosophy and a more secular approach in historical study. In this criticism, he approached the past as strange and in need of interpretation. The originality of Ibn Khaldun was to claim that the cultural difference of another age must govern the evaluation of relevant historical material, to distinguish the principles according to which it might be possible to attempt the evaluation, and lastly, to feel the need for experience, in addition to rational principles, in order to assess a culture of the past.

Ibn Khaldun often criticized "idle superstition and uncritical acceptance of historical data. The 19th-century historian with greatest influence on methods was Leopold von Ranke in Germany.

In the 20th century, academic historians focused less on epic nationalistic narratives, which often tended to glorify the nation or great men , to more objective and complex analyses of social and intellectual forces. A major trend of historical methodology in the 20th century was a tendency to treat history more as a social science rather than as an art , which traditionally had been the case.

Some of the leading advocates of history as a social science were a diverse collection of scholars which included Fernand Braudel , E. Many of the advocates of history as a social science were or are noted for their multi-disciplinary approach. Braudel combined history with geography, Bracher history with political science, Fogel history with economics, Gay history with psychology, Trigger history with archaeology while Wehler, Bloch, Fischer, Stone, Febvre and Le Roy Ladurie have in varying and differing ways amalgamated history with sociology, geography, anthropology, and economics.

More recently, the field of digital history has begun to address ways of using computer technology to pose new questions to historical data and generate digital scholarship.

French historians associated with the Annales School introduced quantitative history, using raw data to track the lives of typical individuals, and were prominent in the establishment of cultural history cf. Intellectual historians such as Herbert Butterfield , Ernst Nolte and George Mosse have argued for the significance of ideas in history.

American historians, motivated by the civil rights era, focused on formerly overlooked ethnic, racial, and socio-economic groups. Scholars such as Martin Broszat , Ian Kershaw and Detlev Peukert sought to examine what everyday life was like for ordinary people in 20th-century Germany, especially in the Nazi period.

Marxist historians such as Eric Hobsbawm , E. In recent years, postmodernists have challenged the validity and need for the study of history on the basis that all history is based on the personal interpretation of sources. Evans defended the worth of history. Marxian theory of history Main article: Gender history is related and covers the perspective of gender.

Periodization Historical study often focuses on events and developments that occur in particular blocks of time. Historians give these periods of time names in order to allow "organising ideas and classificatory generalisations" to be used by historians. Centuries and decades are commonly used periods and the time they represent depends on the dating system used.

Most periods are constructed retrospectively and so reflect value judgments made about the past. The way periods are constructed and the names given to them can affect the way they are viewed and studied.

The usual method for periodisation of the distant prehistoric past, in archaeology is to rely on changes in material culture and technology, such as the Stone Age , Bronze Age and Iron Age and their sub-divisions also based on different styles of material remains.

Despite the development over recent decades of the ability through radiocarbon dating and other scientific methods to give actual dates for many sites or artefacts, these long-established schemes seem likely to remain in use.

In many cases neighbouring cultures with writing have left some history of cultures without it, which may be used. Geographical locations Particular geographical locations can form the basis of historical study, for example, continents , countries and cities. Understanding why historic events took place is important. To do this, historians often turn to geography. Weather patterns, the water supply, and the landscape of a place all affect the lives of the people who live there. For example, to explain why the ancient Egyptians developed a successful civilization, studying the geography of Egypt is essential.

Egyptian civilization was built on the banks of the Nile River, which flooded each year, depositing soil on its banks. The rich soil could help farmers grow enough crops to feed the people in the cities.

That meant everyone did not have to farm, so some people could perform other jobs that helped develop the civilization. Regions History of Africa begins with the first emergence of modern human beings on the continent, continuing into its modern present as a patchwork of diverse and politically developing nation states. History of the Caribbean begins with the oldest evidence where 7,year-old remains have been found.

History of Antarctica emerges from early Western theories of a vast continent, known as Terra Australis, believed to exist in the far south of the globe. History of the Pacific Islands covers the history of the islands in the Pacific Ocean. History of Eurasia is the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions: History of Europe describes the passage of time from humans inhabiting the European continent to the present day.

History of Asia can be seen as the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions, East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe.

History of East Asia is the study of the past passed down from generation to generation in East Asia. History of the Middle East begins with the earliest civilizations in the region now known as the Middle East that were established around BC, in Mesopotamia Iraq.

History of India is the study of the past passed down from generation to generation in the Sub-Himalayan region. History of Southeast Asia has been characterized as interaction between regional players and foreign powers.

Military history Main article: Military history Military history concerns warfare, strategies, battles, weapons, and the psychology of combat. The "new military history" since the s has been concerned with soldiers more than generals, with psychology more than tactics, and with the broader impact of warfare on society and culture.

History of religions The history of religion has been a main theme for both secular and religious historians for centuries, and continues to be taught in seminaries and academe. Topics range widely from political and cultural and artistic dimensions, to theology and liturgy. Social history Social history, sometimes called the new social history, is the field that includes history of ordinary people and their strategies and institutions for coping with life.

Social history was contrasted with political history , intellectual history and the history of great men. Trevelyan saw it as the bridging point between economic and political history, reflecting that, "Without social history, economic history is barren and political history unintelligible.


History (from Greek ???????, historia, meaning "inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past as it is described in written documents. Events occurring before written record are considered hcqj.tk is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information. The Teaching Geologic History Packet is now available. Click here. Contains over pages of ready-to-run materials covering: Relative and Absolute Time, Sequencing Geologic Events, Geologic History Timelines, Geologic Eras, Fossils, Tree Cookies, and Radiactive Dating.

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