This term in Espo applies to all pieces of technology from previous civilizations, invaders, or even new ones crafted by inventors. Since so much has been dug up, though, ‘tek’ most often refers to the inherited wealth of often-bewildering technological gadgets that almost any person can find with modest effort.
Most tek that is discovered is broken or otherwise non-functional. Such detritus may still be quite useful for scrap in the Craftworks Quarter of Tok.
Rarely a piece of tek is found that is operational, but then it is almost always either entirely prosaic (ex: an electric can opener), or entirely mysterious. The latter may mean that the tek’s entire purpose is inscrutable (“it’s beeping and lights are flashing, but nothing seems to be happening!”), or that it’s purpose is obvious but operating it is not.
I may, at some future date, put together a few tables for those who’d like to scrounge for tek (Profession: Scrounger!).