The end of prehistory therefore came at very different dates in different places, and the term is less often used in discussing societies where prehistory ended relatively recently.Sumer in Mesopotamia, the Indus valley civilisation and ancient Egypt were the first civilisations to develop their own scripts, and to keep historical records; this took place already during the early Bronze Age.

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The region where the find was made has been an attraction for fossil hunters for almost 200 years.

5,300 years ago, but writing was not used in some human cultures until the 19th century or even later.

"I don't want to over-dramatise it, but I would hypothesise that we shall have to start rewriting the history of mankind after today," he said.

Axel von Berg, a local archaeologist, said the new findings would “amaze experts”.

The three-age system is the periodization of human prehistory into three consecutive time periods, named for their respective predominant tool-making technologies: The use of the geologic time scale for pre-human time periods, and of the three-age system for human prehistory, is a system that emerged during the late nineteenth century in the work of British, German and Scandinavian archeologists, antiquarians and anthropologists.

This view has been articulated by advocates of deep history.

The primary researchers into human prehistory are archaeologists and physical anthropologists who use excavation, geologic and geographic surveys, and other scientific analysis to reveal and interpret the nature and behavior of pre-literate and non-literate peoples.

Cultural anthropologists help provide context for societal interactions, by which objects of human origin pass among people, allowing an analysis of any article that arises in a human prehistoric context.

They resemble those belonging to “Lucy”, a 3.2 million-year-old skeleton of an extinct primate related to humans and found in Ethiopia.

However, they do not resemble those of any other species found in Europe or Asia. Herbert Lutz, director at the Mainz Natural History Museum and head of the research team, told local media: "They are clearly ape teeth.

Earlier periods are also called "prehistoric"; there are separate articles for the overall history of the Earth and the history of life before humans.