Nashville: American Association for State & Local History, 1982.
I’ve heard “material culture” described as the debris the past leaves behind to entice and puzzle the future. The earlier the period from which historical items have survived, of course, the more pronounced the niches in which they may be categorized. There’s plenty of Roman architecture around, but even metal weapons are rare, and textiles are almost non-existent. There are no Royal Navy frigates remaining from the Napoleonic wars. Even the early phase of the Industrial Revolution hasn’t left many relics. (If only there was a surviving steam locomotive from the 1830s!)