An artifact or artefact (from Latin phrase arte factum, from ars skill + facere to make) is "something made or given shape by a person, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest". "Artifact" is the only spelling in American English, but other varieties of English also accept "artefact".
In archaeology, an artifact is an object recovered by archaeological endeavor, which may have a cultural, historical, or technological interest. Modern archaeologists take care to distinguish material culture from ethnicity, as expressed in the dictum "pots are not people".
Known artifacts range from TL A stone tools, pottery, metal objects and items of personal adornment to TL 12 items from civilizations that expired eons ago. The higher the tech level, the higher its value because of the potential tech it represents. Possession or experimentation with TL 8+ artifacts is extremely dangerous.