Archeologists use artifacts to gain information about ancient societies.
Some artifacts have texts but even artifacts without writing provide information about the past based on their uses within ancient societies.
A carved yoke tells of the ancient Mesoamerican ballgame, the first to use a rubber ball in an athletic contest anywhere in the world.
Ritual vessels speak of the supernatural foundations of power for Maya kings.
There are artifacts with both images and writing, like books with illustrations.
Painted scenes on Maya vessels convey supernatural beliefs and snapshots of life in royal palaces.
One text records the actual words spoken by a Maya king in a ritual invoking one of his gods.
Such artifacts recapture the past.