Ostraka shards of pottery used for voting. Agora Museum, Athens Greece. Leemage/UIG via Getty Images

The Oxford dictionary’s definition of artefact is as follows:

  1. an object made by human being typically one of cultural or historical interest “gold and silver artefacts”
  2. something observed in a scientific investigation or experiment that is not naturally present but occurs as a result of a preparative or investigative procedure “the curvature of the surface is an artefact of the wide-angle view”


Austrian National Library, Alpenrad 1948

The task is about reading artefacts or real objects. However we will not be using pictures. This is because by using pictures the key aspects may be diluted this will be explained in more details in attached reading material. You will be provided some reasons why pictures are not best way to learn about artefacts. As the learner you are encouraged to complete the activities following instructions in the 'Tasks' document attached in the resources section.


You need to find a primary source of a person who is at least 20 years older than you and ask for an artefact from that person’s youth. If a primary source is not available, you may use an artefact from a Museum.

The objective of the task is for you to discover an artefact from an earlier generation and find out the following information as part of historical research. You may either give a 3-5 minute presentation showing the artefact and answering the following questions, or write a 2-4 page research paper answering the same questions. Some clear instructions on what to look out for when completing the tasks are stated in the 'Process' document attached in the resources section. The video attached provides a detailed information about what you will need to do when exploring artefacts.



Objects provide graphic illustrations of continuity and change. Heritage sites and museums use displays to demonstrate the differences and similarities of objects through time. Learners have now had an opportunity to look behind the display and found out about the people behind the object.


Learning Outcomes

  • Using artefacts to help participants to raise questions about what they see/sense. Develop scenarios where participants are able to explore their own history/identities.

Knowledge Acquired

  • After having followed the training material and the example exercises, the participants/ trainees should develop and be able to describe the process of how to use artefacts in all the senses.

Skills Acquired

  • The participant will develop skills to create their own pop up exhibition in different venues for multiple audiences.

Competences Acquired

  • The participants will be able to reflect on how a story can be told with things/objects.