Speculation goes as far as to suggest that these human beings became increasingly dependent on artifactual means of notation.
1821, artefact, "anything made by human art," from Italian artefatto, from Latin arte "by skill" (ablative of ars "art;" see art (n.)) + factum "thing made," from facere "to make, do" (see factitious). The spelling with -i- is by 1884, by influence of the Latin stem. Archaeological application dates from 1890.
artifact ar·ti·fact or ar·te·fact (är'tə-fākt')
A structure or substance not normally present but produced by an external agent or action, such as a structure seen in a microscopic specimen after fixation that is not present in the living tissue.
A skin lesion produced or perpetuated by self-inflicted action.
|artifact also artefact|