ar·​chae·​ol·​o·​gy | \ ˌär-kē-ˈä-lə-jē \
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 \ adjective
archaeologically \ -​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb
archaeologist \ ˌär-​kē-​ˈä-​lə-​jist \ noun

Examples of archaeology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There are other fascinating examples of how modern archaeology is shedding new light on ancient cultures. James Rogers, Fox News, "Amazing Amazon discovery: 'Uninhabited' areas were once home to a million people," 28 Mar. 2018 Prince Charles, however, was the first heir to the throne to get a university degree, studying archaeology and anthropology before switching to history at Trinity College Cambridge. Marcia Moody, Town & Country, "Here's What Prince George and Princess Charlotte's Royal Education Will Entail," 26 Aug. 2018 Their bodies were found in what are named Aubrey holes, named the man who discovered them: John Aubrey, a pioneer of the field of archaeology in 1666. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The People Who Built Stonehenge Came From Wales," 3 Aug. 2018 Others are brainstorming ways to raise money for Templar archaeology in Israel. Kristina Krug, Smithsonian, "Meet the Americans Following in the Footsteps of the Knights Templar," 28 June 2018 Ryder pointed to the need for future research to draw on both genetics and archaeology to shape our understanding of modern domestic horses, their relatives, and their ancestors—a relationship that is still proving tricky to pin down. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Ancient DNA rules out archeologists’ best bet for horse domestication," 25 Feb. 2018 The study is also a reminder that the field of archaeology has much to offer modern ecologists. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "Rat Bones Reveal How Humans Transformed Their Island Environments," 7 June 2018 In 2015, researchers uncovered one of the most significant finds in dental archaeology: 47 teeth in a cave in southern China. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "How Ancient Teeth Reveal The Roots of Humankind," 2 July 2018 Since the 1980s, when experimental archaeology came into fashion, archaeologists started international competitions using prehistoric weaponry. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists armed with spears demonstrate how Neanderthals hunted," 28 June 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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8 Dec 2018

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The first known use of archaeology was in 1837

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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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