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CATEGORY: technique; artifact
DEFINITION: A distinct, individual characteristic of an artifact that cannot be further subdivided and distinguishes it from another. An attribute is used to classify artifacts into groups and describes objects in terms of their physical traits such as color, design pattern, form, shape, size, style, surface texture, technology, and weight. Attribute analysis is a method of using these characteristics to statistically produce clusters of attributes in identifying classes of artifacts.
attribute clustering
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: Any grouping method based on associations between attributes and including Spaulding's configurationist typology and factor analysis.
attribute pointer
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: In relational databases, a field in a "many" file that makes a relation with the key attribute of a "one" file. "Site number" could be an attribute pointer in an artifact cataloguing file and refer to the key attribute "Site number" in another file "Sites" with a unique record for each site.
attribute value
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: A particular value associated with an attribute of an item, as "brown" could be the label for an attribute value of the attribute 'color'.
extrinsic attribute
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: Any attribute of an object that is not inherent in the object - context in time, space, function, society, psychological state in which object was found, made, used, seen, or discarded.
form attribute
CATEGORY: artifact
DEFINITION: Attribute based on the physical characteristics of an artifact, including overall shape, shape of parts, and measurable dimensions - leading to form classification
functional attribute
DEFINITION: Any characteristic of an object that indicates its function, such as its form or a residue from an activity for which it was used.
intrinsic attribute
CATEGORY: typology
DEFINITION: A characteristic that is inherent in an object, such as its length or mass or chemical composition.
key attribute
CATEGORY: database design
DEFINITION: An attribute that provides unique record identifiers in a "one" file and to which an attribute pointer can link from a "many" file.
stylistic attribute
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: stylistic boundary marker
DEFINITION: Well-defined local variations in artifacts that may reflect territorial boundaries. Characteristics / attributes of an artifact that relates to its surface appearance, such as color, decoration, and texture - leading to stylistic classifications.
technological attribute
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: technological type
DEFINITION: Characteristic(s) of an artifact that is the direct result of how it was made (manufacturing methods) or due to the raw material used (constituents) - which lead to technological classifications.

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