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 \ ˌär-​kē-​ə-​ˈlä-​ji-​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 Under the guise of fields such as archaeology or anthropology, white professors at these schools scoured Indian Country, digging up remains that had been respectfully buried for thousands of years. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Academia Was Built on White Theft," 10 Sep. 2020 Gadde toyed with the idea of studying archaeology and anthropology in college, until her parents talked her out of it. Graham Hacia, Wired, "Meet This Year’s WIRED25: People Who Are Making Things Better," 9 Sep. 2020 This wasn’t exactly revolutionary since Brunelleschi, Alberti, Leonardo, Bramante, and many others had dabbled in archaeology. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "In Rome, the Definitive Raphael Show: Raffaello: 1520–1483," 2 Sep. 2020 Madisonville resident Carol Olsen has spent her life studying various aspects of marine life, including earning a master’s degree in marine archaeology and pursuing a passion for ship decoration. Sarah Bonnette|contributing Writer,, "Razzle Dazzle: New Maritime Museum exhibition focuses on WWI ship camouflage," 29 Aug. 2020 This is what archaeologists call experimental archaeology. Tate Paulette, The Conversation, "Brewing Mesopotamian beer brings a sip of this vibrant ancient drinking culture back to life," 24 Aug. 2020 Properties listed in the National Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture. Mike Cason |, al, "3 Alabama sites added to National Register of Historic Places," 20 Aug. 2020 Between 2011 and 2014, a Cal State Northridge graduate student in archaeology named Ann Stansell compiled the names of the victims of the St. Francis Dam’s collapse. Yxta Maya Murray, Longreads, "Fire/Flood: A Southern California Pastoral," 19 Aug. 2020 Angeliki Kottaridi was a 20-year-old archaeology student in 1977 when her professor, Manolis Andronikos, invited her on a dig at Aigai. Myrto Papadopoulos, Smithsonian Magazine, "The King and the Conqueror," 8 June 2020

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

14 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Archaeology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for archaeology


How to pronounce archaeology (audio)

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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