Historical Eras, or classification of history, culture, and such into thematic groups involving time, so as to generate a history by period are intellectual constructs (categories) consisting of certain sets of common characteristics used by researchers, teachers, and academics when communicating about the past, its characteristics and attributes, and the like. These are loosely defined terms in a general sense and the meaning of a term used by a sociologist may not agree with the definition as applied by a historical archeologist or historian or literature professor, as differing disciplines generally look toward classification factors inside their own fields and characteristics understudy within those needs.

Still, whether one can precisely define a time window as 'High Middle Ages' or 'Early Middle Ages', the title evokes an image and expectations in the reader of certain sets of characteristics — the essential essence of such labeling — a communications tool from one mind to another.

Nonetheless, periods have a generally accepted meaning within all disciplines even though a given community of scholarship applies different criteria to their meaning of the same general term used in other disciplines; consequently squabbles about exact date ranges are mostly shrugged aside as counter-productive — in large part this is an extension of the recognition that one region develops at a different pace and under different influences and so at a different rate. A city or town will generally adopt a new practice as it hears about things first simply because it is in greater more frequent contact with a larger farther section of the world. Some time later the idea or practice or characteristic spreads to the whole region, people, or continent.

Pre-historical periods[edit | edit source]

See Prehistory, Prehistoric People, Stone Age, Paleolithic age, Mesolithic age, Neolithic age, Holocene epoch, Pleistocene epoch, Quaternary period (recently replaced by Neogene period)

Historical periods[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

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