Recorded history or written history is a historical narrative based on a written record or other documented communication. Recorded history can be contrasted with other narratives of the past, such as mythological, oral or archeological traditions.
For broader world history, recorded history begins with the accounts of the ancient world around the 4th millennium BC, and coincides with the invention of writing. Examples of written texts, however, can be found dating as far back as 1750 BCE in Ancient Mesopotamia, such as Hammurabi’s Code. For some geographic regions or cultures, written history is limited to a relatively recent period in human history because of the limited use of written records. Moreover, human cultures do not always record all of the information relevant to later historians, such as the full impact of 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.