Artifact

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An Artifact or Artefact is any manufactured object. It was made using tools meaning that sophonts were once here.

  • The term artifact is commonly used to refer to any object, item, or group of related items produced by the Ancients.
  • It may be a technological device or tool. It may just as easily be a cultural object, a luxury or gimmick, with no direct link to a sophontic technology.
  • Imperial Law requires all artifacts found in Imperial Space to be turned over to the Third Imperium. Different laws apply to archaeologicals. [1]

Library Data Referral Tree[edit]

Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information:
Xenoarchaeology:

Description (Specifications)[edit]

An artifact is any object created by sophonts which gives information about the culture and/or technology 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 xenoarchaeological interest. Sometimes, they are called cultural artifacts because they reveal the material culture of a people. [2]

It might be something as simple as a crushed bev can or libation container or... it could be a fantastic objet d'art. Perhaps it could be a mysterious high tech camera or weapon of a precursor society? [3]

The term artifact is also commonly used to refer to any object, item, or group of related items produced by precursor civilizations such as the Ancients. They are sometimes called necro-markers or technosignatures. [4]

Artifacts vs. Archaeologicals[edit]

The two terms have considerable overlap: [5]

  • TL:1-9: 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.
  • TL:10-18: 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.

Classes of Artifacts[edit]

Classes of Artifacts
Class TL Remarks
Class A Artifact TL:31-33 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.
Class B Artifact TL:28-30 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.
Class C Artifact TL:19-27 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.
Class D Artifact TL:10-18 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.
Class E Artifact
(Archaeological)
TL:1-9 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.
Class X Artifact 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.
Class Y Artifact TL-Neg Sometimes anomalous objects appear that don't seem to be manufactured by sophonts or conventional lifeforms.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

An artifact can be any tangible object created by a sophont species. Many but not all artifacts are devices or machines, which is to say technological tools or mechanisms. Some artifacts are not tools and possess cultural meaning that may be incomprehensible to sophonts from a different culture. [6]

And some artifacts from very advanced precursor species may be entirely psionic, intangible, or incorporeal in nature... [7]

Ancients Artifacts[edit]

For example, many of the artifacts recovered from the precursor culture of the Ancients still remain mysteries to the TL-15 societies of Charted Space. Some of these artifacts were clearly created with technology far more advanced than that currently in use throughout the starways. Some of these artifacts have been determined to be technological devices or tools while others may have been luxuries, gimmicks, or items of undetermined cultural value. One of the difficulties in identifying Ancients technology is their incredible diversity: From one site to another there may be few commonalities, sometimes spanning entirely different engineering strategies, material technologies, and even philosophical design choices. Even by the chaotic standards of Humaniti, it's incredibly bizarre. [8]

The most striking aspect of the Ancient technology is not its high level (...though this is certainly dramatic), but its diversity. Of the hundreds of Ancient Sites which have been excavated and analyzed, each appears to express a different approach to the problems solved by technology. It would be easy to take each site as originating from a different cultural or technological background, as the first Vilani spacefarers theorized them to be. It appears that each site involved the near total re-invention of the most basic building blocks of technology. One site might use familiar screw fasteners, while another would depend on adhesives for the same task; still others could use rivets, or interlocking ellipsoids, or simple plastic clasps. Where one site's computers and electronics show evidence of depending on silicon chip circuits, another performed the same functions with fiber optics, still another used fluid dynamics, and yet another channeled heat transfer. Even writing, data formats, recording formats, systems, and standards vary between sites. While the high-tech equipment discovered is fully compatible within a site, rarely do artifacts from different sites show any ability to function together. [9]

No one currently knows what many Ancients artifacts are, let alone their intended function or functions... or is telling if they do. Sometimes the best clues come from local rumors, folklore, and Old Spacer's Tales. [10]

Selected Recovered Artifacts of Charted Space[edit]

This is a very partial listing of selected artifacts recovered, but not always operational from Charted Space:

  1. Antimatter Battery
  2. Apocalypse Package
  3. Argian Stargate
  4. Artifact Ganiir 4132
  5. Black Globe Generator
  6. Coyns
  7. Erdriad Erdriap
  8. Erdriap Chensh
  9. Holographic World Sphere
  10. Hieronymous Device
  11. Idkurkian Big Gun
  12. Jump Potentiator
  13. Matter Teleportation Artifact
  14. Memory Alpha
  15. Monadium
  16. Oynssork
  17. Personal Damper
  18. Planetary Core Tap
  19. Relativity Pistol
  20. Relativity Rifle
  21. Shimmersuit
  22. Star Map Projector
  23. Star Trigger
  24. Tablet of the Dawn
  25. Uterine Replicator

Selected Hypothetical Artifacts of Charted Space[edit]

The following devices are projected to exist or will exist in the future:

  1. Criswell Structure
  2. Jump Gate
  3. Jupiter Brain
  4. Matrioshka Mind
  5. Matter Transporter
  6. Nova Trigger
  7. Omni-Heuristic Mind
  8. Planet-buster
  9. Portal
  10. Psi-Staff
  11. Shkadov Thruster
  12. Star Gate
  13. Star Map Projector
  14. Tesseract
  15. Topopolis
  16. Total Terraforming Bomb
  17. Transdimensional Drive
  18. White Globe Generator

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Artifact_(archaeology). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. The text of Wikipedia is available under the Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Cultural_artifact. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. The text of Wikipedia is available under the Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

  1. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  2. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  3. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  4. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  5. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  6. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  7. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  8. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  9. J. Andrew KeithMarc MillerJohn Harshman. Droyne (Game Designers Workshop, 1985), 4-5.
  10. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak