(1)   The branch of anthropology that studies prehistoric people and their cultures

Alternative spellings

  • archæology
  • archeology


From < + .


  1. The study of the past through material remains. Often focused upon the life and culture of ancient peoples, but also applied to the more recent past. In American usage, one of the four sub-disciplines of anthropology.


  • 1997: Chris Horrocks, Introducing Foucault, pages 36,{1} 63,{2} and 64{3} (Totem Books, Icon Books; ISBN 1840460865)
    {1} He first presented a complementary thesis on the Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), in which he used the term “” for the first time, and which indicated the period of history to which he was constantly to return.
    {2} The latent grid of knowledge which organizes every scientific discourse and defines what can or cannot be thought scientifically — the process of uncovering these levels Foucault calls .
    {3} “”, as the investigation of that which renders necessary a certain form of thought, implies an excavation of unconsciously organized sediments of thought. Unlike a history of ideas, it doesn’t assume that knowledge accumulates towards any historical conclusion. ignores individuals and their histories. It prefers to excavate impersonal structures of knowledge.
    is a task that doesn’t consist of treating discourse as signs referring to a real content like madness. It treats discourses, such as medicine, as practices that form the objects of which they speak.