I've heard many times phrases like "this particular thing has been a fact of life throughout recorded history".
In fact there is this definition:
Recorded history or written history is a historical narrative based on a written record or other documented communication.
That seems to contradict this widely accepted definition of history stating that history is "the study of the past as it is described in written documents". And "prehistory" (before history) is considered "events occurring before written record".
History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning "inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past as it is described in written documents. Events occurring before written record are considered prehistory.
From this Wikipedia article quoting this sources:
Joseph, Brian (Ed.); Janda, Richard (Ed.) (2008). The Handbook of Historical Linguistics. Blackwell Publishing (published 30 December 2004). p. 163. ISBN 978-1-4051-2747-9.
"History Definition". Retrieved 21 January 2014.
"What is History & Why Study It?". Retrieved 21 January 2014
So if history implies records, and the time before writting was invented is considered prehistory, why is "recorded history" so widely used?