Colonial Williamsburg Research Division Web Site

Find Artifacts in Your Room

You Can Be an Archaeologist Too!

Artifacts in Your Room Image Archaeologists study physical evidence, called artifacts, of the past. Artifacts are objects that people used in their everyday lives. The pot you cook in and the dishesyou eat from are artifacts. The chairs and tables in your dining room and the lamp and dresser in your bedroom are artifacts. Your toothbrush is an artifact. So are the chicken bones you threw away after supper last night. Artifacts are everywhere. Artifacts include toys, clothing, tools, furniture, gadgets, and weapons. Even the buildings where you live and go to school are artifacts. Look around you. You are surrounded by artifacts.

Is the tree outside your window an artifact? No, not unless you cut it down and use it for something. If you hollow it out to make a canoe or remove a branch and whittle a whistle, you have created an artifact. If you boil the roots for tea or burn the wood for heat, you have made something from the tree.


Get a notebook or piece of paper. Make a list of all the items on top of your dresser or bedside table. If archaeologists found these items two hundred years from now, what could they learn about you?

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