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Encyclopedia > Artifact (archaeology)

In archaeology, an artifact or artefact is any object made or modified by a human culture, and often one later recovered by some archaeological endeavor. Examples include stone tools such as projectile points, pottery vessels, metal objects such as buttons or guns, and items of personal adornment such as jewellery and clothing. Other examples include bone that show signs of human modification, fire cracked rocks from a hearth or plant material used for food. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... For referencing in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Citing sources. ... The Objects from The Lost Room are powerful artifacts from the Sci Fi Channel mini-series The Lost Room. ... In archaeology, culture refers to either of two separate but allied concepts: An archaeological culture is a pattern of similar artefacts and features found within a specific area over a limited period of time. ... Ancient stone tools A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool made of stone. ... In archaeology, a projectile point is an object that was hafted and used either as knife or projectile tip or both. ... Unfired green ware pottery on a traditional drying rack at Conner Prairie living history museum. ... For the Korean music group, see Jewelry (group). ... This article is about the skeletal organs. ... In common historic and modern usage, a hearth (Har-th) is a brick- or stone-lined fireplace or oven used for cooking and/or heating. ...


The study of these objects is an important part of the field of archaeology, although the degree to which they represent the social groupings that created them is a subject over which archaeological theoreticians argue. Focusing on the artifact alone can produce very intensive and enlightening work on the object itself but can ignore surrounding factors which may shed further light on the manufacturing society. Traditional museums are often criticised for being too artifact-led, that is by displaying items without any contextual information about their purpose or the people who made them. For other uses, see Museum (disambiguation). ...


Artifacts can come from any archaeological context or source such as: In archaeology, not only the context (physical location) of a discovery a significant fact but the formation of the context is as well. ...

Artifacts are distinguished from the main body of the archaeological record such as stratigraphic features, which are nonportable remains of human activity, such as hearths, roads, or deposits and remains, and from biofacts or ecofacts, which are objects of archaeological interest made by other organisms, such as seeds or animal bone. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... With regard to living things, a body is the integral physical material of an individual. ... In archaeology and anthropology grave goods are the items interred along with the body. ... In archaeology, the term feature is generally used to refer to any nonportable remnant of human activity, such as a hearth, road, or house remains, later found or recovered by some archaeological endeavor. ... A midden, also known as kitchen middens, is a dump for domestic waste. ... For the software, see hoard memory allocator. ... A votive deposit or votive offering is an object left in a sacred place for ritual purposes. ... In archaeology, especially in the course of excavation, stratification is a paramount and base concept. ... In archaeology, the term feature is generally used to refer to any nonportable remnant of human activity, such as a hearth, road, or house remains, later found or recovered by some archaeological endeavor. ... In common historic and modern usage, a hearth (Har-th) is a brick- or stone-lined fireplace or oven used for cooking and/or heating. ... For other uses, see Road (disambiguation). ... In archaeology, a biofact or ecofact is an object, found at an archaeological site and carrying archaeological significance, but (unlike an artifact) not altered by human hands. ... A ripe red jalapeño cut open to show the seeds For other uses, see Seed (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... This article is about the skeletal organs. ...


Natural objects which have been moved but not changed by humans are called manuports. Examples would include seashells moved inland or rounded pebbles placed away from the water action that would have fashioned them. In archaeology and anthropology, a manuport is a natural object which has been moved from its original context by human agency but otherwise remains unmodified. ...


These distinctions are often blurred; for instance, a bone removed from an animal carcass is a biofact, but a bone carved into a useful implement is an artifact. Similarly there can be debate over early stone objects which may be crude artifacts or which may be naturally occurring phenomena that only appear to have been used by humans.


Use of artifacts in archaeological analysis

Artifacts are often called "finds" when handled during archaeological excavation. Artifacts are related to the archaeological record by their position defined by the Archaeological context they are discovered in. This is important for Seriation and relative dating analysis and is closely related to work post excavation with the use of a Harris matrix created during excavation. An analysis of finds is often made during excavation for the purpose of spot dating, which is a process of assessing dates of contexts being excavated. It is used as a form of confirmation concerning phasing and highlighting any potential for further discovery on a given site as it progresses. Spot dating tends to rely on pottery typology. This pottery dating analysis was pioneered by 19th century archaeologists such as Georg Loeschcke. Apart from dating and supporting the process of excavation, artifacts lend themselves to a host of post excavation disciplines. The term archaeological excavation has a double meaning. ... In archaeology, not only the context (physical location) of a discovery a significant fact but the formation of the context is as well. ... // Seriaton in Archaeology Seriation is a method in relative dating in which artifacts of numerous sites, in the same culture, are placed in chronological order. ... The Harris Matrix or Harris-Winchester Matrix is a method of recording and interpreting archaeological sites. ... A three phased sequence Archaeological phase and phasing refers to the logical reduction of contexts recorded during excavation to near contemporary archaeological horizons that represent a distinct phase of previous land use. ...


In Popular Culture

Lara Croft is a fictional British video game character and the heroine of the Tomb Raider series of video games, movies, and comic books. ... Tomb Raider logo. ... The third game in the tomb raider series by Eidos and Core Design. ... The third game in the tomb raider series by Eidos and Core Design. ...

See also

Antiquity means different things: Generally it means ancient history, and may be used of any period before the Middle Ages. ... In archaeology, culture refers to either of two separate but allied concepts: An archaeological culture is a pattern of similar artefacts and features found within a specific area over a limited period of time. ... Archaeological ethics refers to a number of moral issues raised through the study of the material past. ... An assemblage is an archaeological term meaning a group of different artefacts found in association with one another, that is, in the same context. ... Dating material drawn from the archaeological record can made by a direct study of a artifact or may be deduced by association with materials found in the context the item is drawn from or inferred by its point of discovery in the sequence relative to datable contexts. ... The term archaeological excavation has a double meaning. ... The Harris Matrix or Harris-Winchester Matrix is a method of recording and interpreting archaeological sites. ... // Seriaton in Archaeology Seriation is a method in relative dating in which artifacts of numerous sites, in the same culture, are placed in chronological order. ... Small finds is an archaeological term for artifacts discovered on Excavations which are somewhat special compared with the common finds for that Type site or type phase on multi phasic sites. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
ScienceDaily: Archaeology Articles (566 words)
In archaeology, the Iron Age is the stage in the development of any people where the use of iron implements as tools and weapons is prominent.
An artifact or artefact is any object made or modified by a human culture, and often one later recovered by some archaeological endeavor.
Archaeology, archeology, or archæology is the science that studies human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains and environmental data, including...
What is archaeology and why is it important? (1840 words)
Focusing upon the definition of archaeology as a science this paper shall firstly attempt to define what archaeology is, secondly examine some of the difficulties in archaeological definitions and the problems in interpreting the archaeological record, and thirdly to define why archaeology is important.
Archaeology has become a science that is no longer the archaic study of antiquity and ancient archaic artifacts; rather it has become a dynamic study focusing upon cultural relevance, cultural context, and the vast overall scheme of a given archaeological picture of a given peoples.
It is perhaps one of archaeologies largest strengths that in the time span of its existence it has been able to uncover some of the many past life ways of cultures, which perhaps led to their extinction or diffusion into the modern day.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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