Written history is only, approximately, 5000 years old (the age of formal writing). A lack of written records results in the fact that most of the knowledge about pre-historic religion is derived from archaeological records and other indirect sources, and suppositions. Much pre-historic religion is subject to continued debate.
Rrecorded history begins with the accounts of the ancient world around the 4th millennium BC, and coincides with the invention of writing. For some regions of the world, written-history is limited to a relatively recent period in human-history. Moreover, human cultures don’t always record all information relevant to later historians, such as natural disasters or the names of individuals; thus, recorded-history for particular types of information is limited based on the types of records kept. Because of these limits, recorded-history in different contexts may refer to different periods of time depending on the historical topic.
The interpretation of recorded-his often relies on historical method, or the set of techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write histories in the form of accounts of the past. The question of the nature, and even the possibility, of a sound historical method is raised in the philosophy of history as a question of epistemology. The study of historical method and writing is known as historiography.