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 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 South of Durrington Walls is Woodhenge, which was identified from above in a photograph taken by airplane pilot Gilbert Insall in 1925, one of the earliest discoveries in the field of aerial archaeology. National Geographic, "Stonehenge was part of a multi-monument complex. Here's how it fit together," 12 Nov. 2020 For younger listeners like Robinson and Madeon, Discovery’s sonic archaeology also served the purpose of, well, musical discovery. Patrick Lyons, Billboard, "10 Ways That Daft Punk's 'Discovery' Predicted Pop Music's Future, As Explained by Fellow Artists," 12 Mar. 2021 Most stories about archaeology turn out to be about mortality in the end. Tobias Carroll, Los Angeles Times, "He overcame addiction and had three strokes before age 40. Then it got worse," 11 Mar. 2021 Most archaeological and anthropological experts believe the Huhugam began building their agricultural and commercial civilization sometime between 1 and 400 A.D., though that date could change as the science of archaeology progresses. Debra Utacia Krol, The Arizona Republic, "Archaeologic finds in Mesa, Tempe connect the history of O'odham peoples' history to present day," 6 Mar. 2021 Thirty-eight, with a degree in archaeology from Kabul University, Wafa was shaggy and fervent, dressed in a sweaty collared shirt and khakis with cargo pockets. New York Times, "How One Looted Artifact Tells the Story of Modern Afghanistan," 4 Mar. 2021 Deméré said the museum has about 1.5 million fossils in its collection, the vast majority recovered from large construction projects, which are required by state law to have archaeology observers onsite to protect and recover fossil remains. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Despite 11-month closure, Natural History Museum has been a beehive of activity since March," 24 Feb. 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

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The first known use of archaeology was in 1837

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Statistics for archaeology

Last Updated

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Archaeology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 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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