Prehistory (meaning "before we had written records," from the Latin word for "before," præ) is the span of time before recorded history or the invention of writing systems. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing. Archaeologist Paul Tournal originally coined the term anté-historique in describing the finds he had made in the caves of southern France. Thus, the term came into use in France in the 1830s to describe the time before writing, and the word "prehistoric" was later introduced into English by archaeologist Daniel Wilson in 1851.
The term "prehistory" can refer to the vast span of time since the beginning of the Universe, but more often it refers to the period since life appeared on Earth, or even more specifically to the time since human-like beings appeared. In dividing up human prehistory, prehistorians typically use the three-age system, whereas scholars of pre-human time periods typically use the well defined geologic record and its internationally defined stratum base within the geologic time scale. The three-age system is the periodization of human prehistory into three consecutive time periods, named for their respective predominant tool-making technologies: the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. Another division of history and prehistory can be made between those written events that can be precisely dated by use of a continuous calendar dating from current and those that can't. The loss of continuity of calendar date most often occurs when a civilization falls and the language and calendar fall into disuse. The current civilization therefore loses the ability to precisely date events written through primary sources to events dated to current calendar dating.
Brittany (French: Bretagne [bʁə.taɲ] ( listen); Breton: Breizh, pronounced [brɛjs]; Gallo: Bertaèyn) is a cultural region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain (as opposed to Great Britain). Brittany is considered as one of the six Celtic nations.
Brittany occupies the northwest peninsula of continental Europe in northwest France. It is bordered by the English Channel to the north, the Celtic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Bay of Biscay to the south. Its land area is 34,023 km² (13,136 sq mi). The historical province of Brittany is divided into five departments: Finistère in the west, Côtes-d'Armor in the north, Ille-et-Vilaine in the north east, Loire-Atlantique in the south east and Morbihan in the south on the Bay of Biscay.