Can you define archaeology for me?
Dr. dig responds:
Archaeology is the science of how we learn about the past by studying material evidence (the remains of things people have left behind or thrown away) to find out about human cultures of the past.
Archaeologists are scientists who study the objects, buildings, treasures and even old garbage left behind by people of the past. We are kind of like detectives who try to figure out what happened long ago.
Archaeologists are interested in these remains wherever they may exist. The remains of people of the past may exist in the ground, underwater and even in outer space!
In order to find out more about these remains that people have left behind, archaeologists often have to dig in the ground because that is where the past is most often buried. But the kind of digging archaeologists do is very scientific. Archaeologists record exactly where buildings and objects are found and study them to learn about past civilizations.
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Does the word "archaeology" mean anything?
Dr. dig responds:
The ancient Greeks used the word "archaeology" over 2,000 years ago. The word "archaeology" comes from two ancient Greek words: archaios, meaning ancient or old, and logos, which means word or speech. In ancient Greece, archaeology meant a "discussion" or "study of ancient things."