An artifact,[a] or artefact (see American and British English spelling differences), is something made or given shape by humans, such as a tool or a work of art, especially an object of archaeological interest. In archaeology, however, the word has become a term of particular nuance and is defined as: an object recovered by archaeological endeavor, which may be a cultural artifact having cultural interest. However, modern archaeologists take care to distinguish material culture from ethnicity, which is often more complex, as expressed by Carol Kramer in the dictum "pots are not people".
Archaeological artifact from Black Sea region: a Sarmatian-Parthian gold necklace and amulet, 2nd century AD. Examples include stone tools, pottery vessels, metal objects such as weapons, and items of personal adornment such as buttons, jewelry and clothing. Bones that show signs of human modification are also examples. Natural objects, such as fire cracked rocks from a hearth or plant material used for food, are classified by archeologists as ecofacts rather than as artifacts.