- The term has some semantic overlap with the term Artifact, but is considered nevertheless distinct.
An Archaeological is anything created by sophonts which gives information about the culture of its creator and users. It is typically something made or given shape by a sophont, such as a tool or a work of art, especially an object of archaeological interest. Some call them antiquities.
Artifacts vs. Archaeologicals
The two terms have considerable overlap:
- TL-0 Protosophonts lack the ability to make tools using tools. They may leave behind found tools, biofacts, or ecofacts. They require an astute observer and are also known as Proto-Tech.
- Archaeologicals are generally considered to be lower technology objects, generally in the TL:1-9 range. These objects are relatively easily recognized, understood, and are also known as Ur-Tech.
- Artifacts are generally considered to be high technology objects, generally in the TL:10-18 range or higher. They can be tougher to discern than less technologically advanced objects, yet are strangely familiar, and are also known as Stell-Tech.
- Ultra Period artifacts are considered to be very advanced objects, in the TL:19-27 range. They are not easy to recognize and are also known as Ultra-Tech.
- Transcendent artifacts are considered to be astrodeific objects, in the TL:28-30 range. They are difficult to conceptualize, let alone recover, and are also known as Dei-Tech.
- Ascendant artifacts are considered to be impossibly advanced omnipotential objects, in the TL:31-33 range. They might not be recognizable as tangible or corporeal objects and are also known as Omni-Tech.
An archaeological can be any tangible object created by a sophont species. Many but not all archaeologicals are devices, which is to say technological tools. Some archaeologicals are not tools and possess cultural meaning that may be incomprehensible to sophonts from a different culture.