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

His older sister is working on her doctorate in archaeology at the University of Cincinnati. Mike Lefkow, The Mercury News, "The Fab Forty, No. 8: Bishop O’Dowd receiver a true student-athlete," 13 Aug. 2019 In the years following his stint on the Disney channel, Cole attended NYU, majored in archaeology and took photography classes. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Cole Sprouse Said He Might Have Quit Acting If It Wasn’t for “Riverdale"," 7 Aug. 2019 Parcak uses her knowledge of present technology in the field of archaeology – drones and artificial intelligence and more – to imagine a future, too, a world 100 years from now in which machines called digbots do the excavation dirty work. John Archibald |,, "UAB space archaeologist makes you wonder," 7 July 2019 The technology has transformed the day-to-day work of archaeology in the jungle. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, "The Lost World of the Maya is Finally Emerging From the Jungle," 7 Feb. 2019 Light detection and ranging, or LiDAR, has changed the face of archaeology by making it possible to measure and map objects and structures that might otherwise remain hidden. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Lasers are driving a revolution in archaeology," 29 July 2019 There are sections devoted to the rail system, automobiles, archaeology, the Ohio River, the Roebling Bridge, education, art and special exhibits. Charles Infosino,, "Check out the weirdest things you can find at Behringer-Crawford Museum," 18 July 2019 Roemich is a chemist by training, with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and field and teaching experience in archaeology. Vince Guerrieri, Popular Mechanics, "The Secret Tech Problem at Modern Art Museums," 24 June 2019 Jones’ interests outside archaeology included martial arts, home brewing and playing drums, according to his obituary. Tess Vrbin,, "State archaeologist Brian Jones was an educator and mentor to many," 9 July 2019

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

18 Aug 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

Comments on archaeology

What made you want to look up archaeology? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make or get by devious means

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