Within the context of burial and ritual, archaeologists have found it near-impossible to understand why mundane objects became the focus for ritual deposition. I suppose it is all too easy to look at anthropology and ethnography to get some of the answers, especially when we look at our own throwaway society. Clearly, objects in late and early prehistory took on several roles through the duration of their use: from utilitarian tool to a venerated item that would have possessed supernatural power and provided essential help for the afterlife (and beyond).
When does an object become an artefact? Is an artefact always an artefact? How do artefacts relate to human evolution? How do artefacts themselves evolve? These are some of the questions posed by Michael Chazan in this thought-provoking book.