An artifact is a special unit that can only be acquired when it appears within range of a particular unit, with the exception of walls, towers and buildings. Once the artifact is captured, the color coating changes. The color corresponds to the color of the civilization that owns the unit. Once all of them is captured by a team or a civilization, the countdown begins, starting with 2000 years (5 minutes in real life). If an artifact is not captured by an opposing civilization within the timeframe, the civilization with all artifacts on the map wins the game. It is considered by some to have an appearance of the "Ark of the Covenant".