added by archaeologs Any object (article, building, container, device, dwelling, ornament, pottery, tool, weapon, work of art) made, affected, used, or modified in some way by human beings. It may range from a coarse stone or a needle to a pyramid or a highly technical accomplishment - and these objects are used to characterize or identify a people, culture, or stage of development. The most common artifacts are pieces of broken pottery, stone chips, projectile points, and tools. The environment may play a part in the nature of an artifact if it has been seriously altered by man through fire, house and road construction, agricultural practices, etc. Therefore, the line is sometimes hard to draw between a natural object and one used by man, but there is no doubt when it can be shown that man shaped it in any way, even if only accidentally in the course of use. Artifacts are individually assignable to ceramic, lithic, metal, or organic, or other lesser-used categories. A sociotechnic artifact is a tool that is used primarily in the social realm. A technomic artifact is a tool that is used primarily to deal with the physical environment.