Archaeology, or archeology (from Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 , archaiologia – , arkhaios, "ancient"; and , -logia, "-logy
-logy is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek language ending in -λογία...

"), is the study of human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

, primarily through the recovery and analysis
Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics and logic since before Aristotle , though analysis as a formal concept is a relatively recent development.The word is...

 of the material culture
Material culture
In the social sciences, material culture is a term that refers to the relationship between artifacts and social relations. Studying a culture's relationship to materiality is a lens through which social and cultural attitudes can be discussed...

 and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts
Artifact (archaeology)
An artifact or artefact is "something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest"...

, architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

, biofact
Biofact (archaeology)
In archaeology, a biofact is an object, found at an archaeological site and carrying archaeological significance, but previously unhanded by humans. A common type of biofact is a plant seed...

s and cultural landscapes (the archaeological record
Archaeological record
The archaeological record is the body of physical evidence about the past. It is one of the most basic concepts in archaeology, the academic discipline concerned with documenting and interpreting the archaeological record....

). Because archaeology employs a wide range of different procedures, it can be considered to be both a science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 and a humanity
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

, and in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 it is thought of as a branch of anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, although in Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 it is viewed as a separate discipline.

Archaeology studies human history
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 from the development of the first stone tools in eastern Africa 3.4 million years ago up until recent decades.

Archaeology is destruction.

Mortimer Wheeler|Mortimer Wheeler Archaeology From the Earth (1954|1954)

Archaeology is archaeology is archaeology

David L. Clarke|David Clarke "Analytical Archaeology" (1968|1968)

History is too serious to be left to historians.

Ian Macleod, The Observer|The Observer (July 16, 1961|1961)

He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it.

Bible|King James Bible Proverbs 26:27,