ar·​chae·​ol·​o·​gy | \ ˌär-kē-ˈä-lə-jē How to pronounce archaeology (audio) \
variants: or archeology

Definition of archaeology

1 : the scientific study of material remains (such as tools, pottery, jewelry, stone walls, and monuments) of past human life and activities
2 : remains of the culture of a people : antiquities the archaeology of the Incas

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Other Words from archaeology

archaeological \ ˌär-​kē-​ə-​ˈlä-​ji-​kəl How to pronounce archaeology (audio) \ adjective
archaeologically \ ˌär-​kē-​ə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce archaeology (audio) \ adverb
archaeologist \ ˌär-​kē-​ˈä-​lə-​jist How to pronounce archaeology (audio) \ noun

Examples of archaeology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While studying for a degree in archaeology at Queen’s University Belfast in the early 2000s, Maguire, now 66, spent several years working to identify unregistered sites throughout Northern Ireland where stillborn children had been secretly buried. NBC News, "Northern Ireland's hidden history: Archaeologist works to identify unmarked mass graves," 8 Apr. 2021 With the hopes of inspiring indigenous youth to pursue careers in archaeology, the Imperial Valley Desert Museum and Kumeyaay Education Council are hosting a virtual event on the region’s La Rumorosa rock art Saturday. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Native archaeology internship program to hold virtual rock art event Saturday," 19 Mar. 2021 The city will conduct archival investigations and create an archaeology committee to guide interpretations of Alamo cemeteries. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, "Ayala: City of San Antonio will have to earn Tap Pilam's confidence in Alamo Plaza renovation," 8 Apr. 2021 Actor Cole Sprouse answered 73 rapid-fire questions, talking about his love for photography, cooking and archaeology in an interview with’s sister site, Vogue. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Rocky River teachers resign, retire following investigation results: The Wake Up for Thursday, April 8, 2021," 8 Apr. 2021 Repatriations are now the main priority for the state's archaeology collection. Leah Willingham, Star Tribune, "Years later, Chickasaw remains returning to Mississippi home," 30 Mar. 2021 In the late 19th century, biblical archaeology was a booming business, with all manner of reports on new discoveries and controversies reported in The Times’s narrow, almost unreadably dense columns. New York Times, "A Biblical Mystery and a Reporting Odyssey," 28 Mar. 2021 The goal of the program, Liponi said, is to diversify not only who works in the field of archaeology, but also to help indigenous students to have the scientific skills needed to pursue degrees in the subject and study the history of their tribes. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Native archaeology internship program to hold virtual rock art event Saturday," 19 Mar. 2021 Another approach is to carry out a bit of stellar archaeology: look around our local celestial neighborhood and seek out the smallest first-generation stars still burning away. Marcia Bartusiak, WSJ, "‘First Light’ Review: A Stellar Start," 5 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'archaeology.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of archaeology

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for archaeology

French archéologie, from Late Latin archaeologia antiquarian lore, from Greek archaiologia, from archaio- + -logia -logy

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Time Traveler for archaeology

Time Traveler

The first known use of archaeology was in 1837

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Statistics for archaeology

Last Updated

24 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Archaeology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for archaeology



English Language Learners Definition of archaeology

: a science that deals with past human life and activities by studying the bones, tools, etc., of ancient people


variants: or archeology \ ˌär-​kē-​ˈä-​lə-​jē \

Kids Definition of archaeology

: a science that deals with past human life and activities as shown by objects (as pottery, tools, and statues) left by ancient peoples

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More from Merriam-Webster on archaeology

Nglish: Translation of archaeology for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of archaeology for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about archaeology

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