Cultural artifact Information
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A cultural artifact, or cultural artefact (see American and British English spelling differences), is a term used in the social sciences, particularly anthropology,  ethnology  and sociology[ citation needed] for anything created by humans which gives information about the culture of its creator and users. Artifact is the spelling in North American English; artefact is usually preferred elsewhere.
Cultural artifact is a more generic term and should be considered with two words of similar, but narrower, nuance: it can include objects recovered from archaeological sites, i.e. archaeological artifacts, but can also include objects of modern or early-modern society, or social artifacts. For example, in an anthropological context: a 17th-century lathe, a piece of faience, or a television each provides a wealth of information about the time in which they were manufactured and used.
Cultural artifacts, whether ancient or current, have a significance because they offer an insight into: technological processes, economic development and social structure, among other attributes.
- primary artifacts: used in production (such as a hammer, a fork, a lamp or a camera);
- secondary artifacts: relating to primary artifacts (such as a user-manual for a camera);
- tertiary artifacts: representations of secondary artifacts (such as a picture of a user-manual for a camera).
Social artifacts, unlike archaeological artifacts, do not need to have a physical form (for example virtual artifact), nor to be of historical value (items created seconds ago can be classified as social artifacts).
- Art object
- Cultural expressions
- Cultural heritage
- Cultural icon
- Cultural property
- Habib, Laurence, and Line Wittek (2007). The portfolio as artifact and actor. Mind, Culture and Activity, Vol. 14, No. 4, ISSN 1074-9039.