Are artifacts history?

Again, we have elementary school students being "taught" about the Civil War and again, it comes down to handling artifacts and experiencing mild, generic discomfort.
A Meadowlark teacher, Lee Zuck, hopes the students weren't just entertained. "Hopefully, they get more of an understanding of what the Civil War was about," Zuck said.
Why does history have to be the curriculum of hoped-for results?