noun Paleontology, Anthropology.

the circumstances and processes of fossilization.
the study of the environmental conditions affecting the preservation of animal or plant remains.

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
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British Dictionary definitions for taphonomy



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

Word Origin for taphonomy

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