• synonyms


or ar·che·ol·o·gy

See more synonyms for archaeology on Thesaurus.com
  1. the scientific study of historic or prehistoric peoples and their cultures by analysis of their artifacts, inscriptions, monuments, and other such remains, especially those that have been excavated.
  2. Rare. ancient history; the study of antiquity.
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Origin of archaeology

First recorded in 1600–10, archaeology is from the Greek word archaiología the discussion of antiquities. See archaeo-, -logy
Related formsar·chae·ol·o·gist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for archaeology

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I have, as everybody knows, devoted my whole life to Egyptian archaeology.


    Anatole France

  • This attitude of suspense is not without precedent in archaeology.

  • On the contrary, our own gropings, eclecticism, and archaeology are the symptoms of impotence.

    The Sense of Beauty

    George Santayana

  • Obviously America was a more interesting subject than archaeology.

    Riviera Towns

    Herbert Adams Gibbons

  • They belong to the field of archaeology rather than to history.

British Dictionary definitions for archaeology



  1. the study of man's past by scientific analysis of the material remains of his culturesSee also prehistory, protohistory
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Derived Formsarchaeological or archeological (ˌɑːkɪəˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectivearchaeologically or archeologically, adverbarchaeologist or archeologist, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Late Latin archaeologia, from Greek arkhaiologia study of what is ancient, from arkhaios ancient (from arkhē beginning)
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

Word Origin and History for archaeology


c.1600, "ancient history," from French archéologie (16c.) or directly from Greek arkhaiologia "the study of ancient things;" see archaeo- + -ology. Meaning "scientific study of ancient peoples" recorded by 1825. Related: Archaeological; archaeologically.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

archaeology in Science


  1. The scientific study of past human life and culture by the examination of physical remains, such as graves, tools, and pottery.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

archaeology in Culture



The recovery and study of material objects, such as graves, buildings, tools, artworks, and human remains, to investigate the structure and behavior of past cultures. Archaeologists rely on physical remains as clues to the emergence and development of human societies and civilizations. Anthropologists, by contrast, to interact with living people to study their cultures.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.