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

Examples of archaeology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The stuff of legend’ The mystery of the unknown and romantic notions of urban archaeology stoke Baltimoreans’ perpetual interest in the tunnels, said Gleason, the preservation society president. Colin Campbell,, "'Secret' tunnels are hidden under Baltimore's Federal Hill. Where did they come from and what lies inside?," 26 June 2019 Dale, who took anthropology and archaeology classes while earning a business degree from San Diego State University, was fascinated by Ana. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Dale Griffin has learned a thing or two — or 22 — about fatherhood," 16 June 2019 The history and archaeology of Mongolia, most famously the sites associated with the largest land empire in the history of the world under Ghengis Khan, are of global importance. Julia Kate Clark, Smithsonian, "As Mongolia Melts, Looters Close In On Priceless Artifacts," 11 Apr. 2018 The November 2013 field season was set up to run like a salvage archaeology project. Lydia Pyne, Ars Technica, "Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology," 20 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, the survey has revealed some new sites for archaeology, such as Garrison’s upcoming work at La Cuernavilla, and provided a broader context for sites that have been excavated for years. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "What 61,000 hidden structures reveal about Maya civilization," 28 Sep. 2018 Roberts and his co-author Brian Stewart, who specialize in the intersection of archaeology and anthropology, suggest that this success was helped in part by humanity's ability to form communities. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Humanity's Secret Weapon Is Surviving in Tough Climates," 31 July 2018 Using archaeology, Native American oral traditions, even high-tech 3D renditions, viewers are presented images of busy cities connected by networks that span from the present-day United States to South America. Russell Contreras, The Seattle Times, "PBS docuseries ‘Native America’ recreates cultures pre-1492," 23 Oct. 2018 But the project, planned since 2012, has been held up by one public body after another, including the authorities for archaeology, forestry and land registry, as well as slow-moving judicial proceedings to consider challenges from local residents. Nektaria Stamouli, WSJ, "Greek Bailout Ends, But Underlying Problems Remain," 21 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for archaeology

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for archaeology

The first known use of archaeology was in 1837

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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

Spanish Central: Translation of archaeology

Nglish: Translation of archaeology for Spanish Speakers

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

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