Material Culture

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The artifacts and ecofacts used by a group to cope with their physical and social environment. Material culture includes the buildings, tools, and other artifacts that constitute the material remains of a former society - its technology and artifacts combined. Material culture thus embraces folk architecture, folk arts, and folk crafts. For example, the construction of houses, the design and decoration of buildings and utensils, and the performance of home industries, according to traditional styles and methods, make up material culture. The distinction is made between those aspects of culture that appear as physical objects, and those aspects which are nonmaterial. It is the major source of evidence for archaeology.