• At the end of this lesson, you are expected to be able
to explore the significance of human material
remains and artifactual evidence in interpreting
cultural, social, political, and economic processes.
• In your home, you have probably seen objects
belonging to your great-great grandparents that
were kept by your parents or other relatives. Like
artifacts, these objects help in describing or creating
a picture of the past.
• What implications do these objects have at present
• What do they tell about the past?
• What role do artifactual pieces of evidence play in
understanding early societies?
• Archaeologists have discovered artifactual pieces of
evidences even dating back to the beginning of human
evolution. As a result, present-day social and biological
scientists are able to open a window to what life was in
the past. In this lesson, the significance and value of
artifacts in several aspects will be described and
• Artifacts are objects made or modified by humans
in the past. They are recovered after a long time through
archaeological endeavor or by chance. Apart from
serving as windows to the past, artifacts are also
deemed significant because they are tangible or
authentic proof that a certain period in history actually
• The Significance of Artifacts
• Artifacts have significant contributions in
interpreting social, cultural, political, and
economic processes that occurred in the
past. Their existence proves and describes
these aspects thoroughly. The discovery of
artifacts and the understanding of various
processes have provided a stable
foundation for the socioeconomic, political,
and cultural growth that humans have
come to recognize today.
• Importance of Artifact Preservation
• There are various reasons why artifacts must be preserved and taken
care of. Below are some of them.
• Artifacts are irreplaceable. Artifacts, being made hundreds, even
thousands of years ago, are very delicate objects that cannot be
replaced by any available material in the present time.
• Artifacts are keys to understanding the past. Practices that occurred
in the past would not have been known if not for the discovery of
• Artifacts give people a sense of identity. Artifacts greatly describe
culture and society. They provide people with an opportunity to
further understand their identities and heritage, as well as some
collective qualities that their culture may have.
• The past is yet to be fully discovered. Despite the seemingly great
successes archaeologists have made in recent years, there is still more
to discover about history. Treating artifacts like pieces of puzzles will
eventually provide a general picture of the past.
• Present-day “Artifacts” for the Future
• Many advances have already been made
and discovered within this century. It is
logical to treat these discoveries as
significant elements that can help shape the
future. As such, the technologies and
developments that the world has today
must also be well-preserved. These must be
treated with certainty that one day, these
“artifacts” will be discovered and be
understood by future generations
• Archaeologists hunt for artifacts for a
period of months, some even
extending up to several years. They
proceed with their digs with caution
to eliminate the risk of damaging any
artifact they may find. If you were to
place yourself in an archaeologist’s
shoes, would you be willing to
sacrifice so much time and effort to
know about the past? Why? Why not?
• Artifacts may consist of any tangible object that was originally part of the
distant past but was recently discovered. They may include bones, fossils,
tools, and a lot more.
• Archaeologists are responsible for digging out artifacts. Anthropologists
study an area’s culture. Together, they work to create a holistic picture and
identity of a certain group.
• Key Points
• Artifacts are objects made or modified by humans in the past. They are
recovered after a long time through archaeological endeavor or by chance.
• Artifacts have implications in the understanding of social, cultural,
economic, and political processes.
• It is important to preserve artifacts because they are irreplaceable, help
understand the past, and give people a sense of identity.
• Present-day discoveries and technologies will one day be
artifacts for the future generation.