- 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.
- Rare. ancient history; the study of antiquity.
- a variant spelling of archaeology
- the study of man’s past by scientific analysis of the material remains of his culturesSee also prehistory, protohistory
alternative spelling of archaeology. Also see ae.
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.
- The scientific study of past human life and culture by the examination of physical remains, such as graves, tools, and pottery.
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.