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Historians divide the past into prehistoric periods—before the invention of writing, and historic periods, which we can know by reading the texts people wrote. On the Tibetan Plateau, the historic period proper begins in the seventh century CE, when the Tibetan script was developed, and Tibetans began to write about their own present and past. Historians also speak of a long “proto-historic” period, during which we have writings in the languages of surrounding cultures like India and China, who sometimes described their Himalayan neighbors. Events in the “proto-historic” period sometimes appear as legends and tales in later histories.