History is the systematic study of the past history. Events prior to the invention of written records are often regarded as prehistorical. “Book-keeping” is a systematic study of events which usually implies recording such events occurred earlier or later than the present time. “Heroes” is a much broader term, including historical figures such as kings and empires. ” Historiography” is a study of heroic events and the cultural significance attached to them.
Many forms of history are practiced today by historians, social scientists, public administrators, political scientists, and others. Professional historians are required to specialize in a certain area, such as socio-historical or political history. The major areas of history include ancient history, modern history, archeology and anthropology, archeopolitics, digital humanities, history of technology, and history of science. One can obtain advanced degrees in history. The American university historically does have a department devoted to history.
Archaeologists investigate sites and artifacts. Surveyors map the world for research purposes. Social scientists analyze and interpret data gathered from primary sources, such as primary source material, oral history, literary works, and the works of scientists and explorers. The objective of any study history is to tell a story that allows us to understand the past. Students pursue a career as a journalist because the field of history offers a variety of careers that enable you to develop a wide range of skills.
A historian specializing in political or social science looks at events in the context of the time, culture, and people at the time. A political scientist who specializes in the history of medicine applies scientific methods to medicine and medical research. A biological anthropologist studies human populations and looks at the relationships between individuals and groups within the community. A geological archaeologist studies ancient sites and artifacts, looking for evidence of cultural heritage and behavior.
The American Historical Association offers programs that require coursework and research papers on a variety of historical topics. Some of these courses include American History, American Government, European History, Early America, Early European America, and America After the French Revolution. Other historians specialize in a particular area of history such as race, gender, power, and sexuality. These are just some of the many areas of specialization within the field of history. One might wonder what distinguishes historians from other scientists in the same field who also perform research and study their subject matter.
One of the differences between an academic history major and one interested in archeology is that the former is interested in primary sources and using primary sources to tell a story. Whereas archeologists look for artifacts, or primary sources that might corroborate their theory. Both historians pursue different means to tell a story, but both also use the same methods to collect data. The career of a archeologist might begin with excavations while that of a historian will likely begin with written research.