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taphonomy

[tuh-fon-uh-mee]
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noun Paleontology, Anthropology.
  1. the circumstances and processes of fossilization.
  2. the study of the environmental conditions affecting the preservation of animal or plant remains.
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Origin of taphonomy

1965–70; < Greek táph(ē) grave + -o- + -nomy
Related formstaph·o·nom·ic [taf-uh-nom-ik] /ˌtæf əˈnɒm ɪk/, adjectiveta·phon·o·mist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for taphonomy

taphonomy

noun
  1. the study of the processes affecting an organism after death that result in its fossilization
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Derived Formstaphonomic (ˌtæfəˈnɒmɪk) or taphonomical, adjective

Word Origin

C20: from Greek taphos grave + -nomy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012