From the combination of these considerations, it will be seen that the farthest date to which documentary or other records extend is now generally regarded by anthropologists as but the earliest distinctly visible point of the historic period, beyond which stretches back a vast indefinite series of prehistoric ages.
The great pioneer in the path of independent research, which, with the intelligent use of documentary and historical evidence, has led to so vast an increase in our acquaintance with the Roman Catacombs, was Padre Marchi of the Society of Jesus.
Kohl of Bremen to prepare the first volume (1868) of the Historical Society's Documentary History, and he discovered a MS. of Hakluyt's Discourse on Western Planting, which was edited, partly with Woods's notes, by Charles Dean in 1877.
By a comparison of these two lines of evidence we can approximate to a text current about 300 B.C. or later; but for any errors which had entered into the common source of these two forms of the text we possess no documentary means of detection whatsoever.
The making of beads was probably practised at Venice from a very early period, but the earliest documentary evidence bearing on the subject does not appear to be of earlier date than the 14th century, when prohibitions were directed against those who made of glass such objects as were usually made of crystal or other hard stones.
A comparison with other documentary evidence, however, leads to the identification of Holland with the forestum Merweda, or the bush-grown fenland lying between the Waal, the old Meuse and the Merwe.
Chase, History of the Polk Administration (New York, 1850), both of which contain some documentary material, but are not discriminating in their method of treatment.
The statement that he was nominated archbishop of Bordeaux during the last year of life is unauthenticated by documentary evidence and is in itself extremely improbable.
He also pleaded a selection of himself as successor by Alexander II., before the birth of Alexander III., but of this he had no documentary evidence.
The first recorded visit to the islands was made in 1609 by an English ship; then for 133 years there is no documentary evidence of any further visit.