|When you find an artifact, how do you decide what it is or how it was used?||
A tiny piece of pottery holds many clues, like what kind of pot it came from and the age of the site.
|We often know what an artifact is because we recognize it as something we have seen or read about before. For example, we find a lot of broken pottery in Oaxaca. When we pick up a tiny little piece, we know what kind of vessel it came from. After all these years of digging in Oaxaca, we are very familiar with different pottery types. So it's not too hard to figure it out.
If we don't know what something is immediately, we look at where it was found and at the other objects that were found with it. We ask a lot of questions about an object and study it carefully. We also do research about the other digs in that area so that we can compare the artifact to other similar artifacts.