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Aritfacts and artifacts

I've been doing a little research on the word "artifact", mainly from the perspective of microscopy (photographs through a microscope). On a google search, I came up with mostly what I expected...except for one result. It took me back to my days as an anthropology student. When an artifact was a tangible thing to me, instead of an accidental miscommunication.

The SAA provides an interesting list of terms and definitions relevant to archeology, including "artifact: any object made, modified, or used by people". I can see how this definition may have influenced the use of the term artifact to refer to an accident in image preparation. It makes sense...an artifact is the result of human activity and not a naturally occurring phenomenon. So, when you're successful in your visualizations, they seem natural. An awkward visualization will have artifacts--traces of the attempt to communicate instead of the communication itself.

Comments

That first link of yours doesn't work.

Fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.