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The SCA time period is pre-1600 Europe. Any time or place outside of that definition is referred to as being out-of-period.

While the official SCA cutoff date has been 1600 for some time, some push this date out to 1650. The later date developed from the practice in the Arts and sciences of accepting evidence from this later period for research when no pre-1600 source was found on the assumption that it was plausable to be similar to items of the imediately preceding period. Of note, many of the popular English Country Dances done in the society come from a 1650s manuscript (which is the earliest known English Country dance manual). As one notable Duke put it "The speed limit is 1600, but people drive 1650."

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