Perhaps a topic on what the methods of Historical Science really are:
The Past is the Key to the present.
The Present is the Key to the past.
The Past and the Present are the Keys to the future
Three very simple, very easy to understand concepts that were developed initially during the Scottish Enlightenment but perhaps their very simplicity and clarity conceals the power and importance inherent.
If we look at an old object and compare that to many new objects we will find greater similarities between the old object and those new objects produced by a particular combination of known physical processes, procedures, mechanisms, methods or models. It then is reasonable to tentatively assume the older object was created by those specific physical processes, procedures, mechanisms, methods or models. As we examine more and more old objects and find the same patterns repeating our confidence that we made a correct conclusion grows.
From those observations it is the reasonable to assume that for any particular combination of known physical processes, procedures, mechanisms, methods or models we should see the same sort of object or artifact produced in the future. Once again, as the number of such observations grow the confidence in the outcome increases.
Far from being some attempt to mystify the subject or confuse the public, the methods of Historical Science are created and designed to demystify both the past and future.