Shroud of turin carbon dating results
Its claim to truth is based in part on the fact that all the persons or events it describes really existed or occurred at some time in the past.Historians can say nothing about these persons or events that cannot be supported, or at least suggested, by some kind of documentary evidence.Such evidence customarily takes the form of something written, such as a letter, a law, an administrative record, or the account of some previous historian.In addition, historians sometimes create their own evidence by interviewing people.Through these means even the most oppressed peoples—African-American slaves or medieval heretics, for example—have had at least some of their history restored.Since the 20th century some historians have also become interested in psychological repression—i.e., in attitudes and actions that require psychological insight and even diagnosis to recover and understand.
This larger ambition was more appropriate to religion, philosophy, and perhaps poetry and other imaginative All human cultures tell stories about the past.
History, which may be defined as an account that purports to be true of events and ways of thinking and feeling in some part of the human past, stems from this archetypal human narrative activity.
While sharing a common ancestry with myth, legend, epic poetry, and the novel, history has of course diverged from these forms.
Many of the indigenous peoples of Africa, the Americas, and Polynesia, for example, were long dismissed by Europeans as having no precolonial history, because they did not keep written records before the arrival of European explorers.
However, sophisticated study of oral traditions, combined with advances in archaeology, has made it possible to discover a good deal about the civilizations and empires that flourished in these regions before European contact. The earliest histories were mostly stories of disasters—floods, famines, and plagues—or of wars, including the statesmen and generals who figured in them.