An archaeologist is a scientist who studies human history by digging up human remains and artifacts. Lucy, the oldest human known to man — nearly 3.2 million years old — was dug up in Ethiopia by archaeologist.

We know about the history of the human species thanks to archaeologists who spend countless hours sifting through dirt and digging through ruins to find evidence of human life from across time. The word archaeologist can also be spelled archeologist. It comes from the Greek root archaeo-, for “ancient, primitive.”

Definitions of archaeologist
  1. noun

    an anthropologist who studies prehistoric people and their culture

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    Sir Arthur John Evans

    British archaeologist who excavated the palace of Knossos in Crete to find what he called Minoan civilization (1851-1941)
    Heinrich Schliemann

    German archaeologist who discovered nine superimposed city sites of Troy; he also excavated Mycenae (1822-1890)
    Homer Armstrong Thompson

    United States classical archaeologist (born in Canada) noted for leading the excavation of the Athenian agora (1906-2000)
    Sir Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler

    Scottish archaeologist (1890-1976)
    Johann Joachim Winckelmann

    German archaeologist and art historian said to be the father of archaeology (1717-1768)
    Sir Charles Leonard Woolley

    English archaeologist who supervised the excavations at Ur (1880-1960)
    Howard Carter

    Englishman and Egyptologist who in 1922 discovered and excavated the tomb of Tutankhamen (1873-1939)
    Jean Francois Champollion

    Frenchman and Egyptologist who studied the Rosetta Stone and in 1821 became the first person to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics (1790-1832)
    Thomas Young

    British physicist and Egyptologist; he revived the wave theory of light and proposed a three-component theory of color vision; he also played an important role in deciphering the hieroglyphics on the Rosetta Stone (1773-1829)


    an archeologist who specializes in Egyptology
    paleographer, paleographist

    an archeologist skilled in paleography

    a nonprofessional archeologist
    type of:


    a social scientist who specializes in anthropology

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