The fields of archaeology and anthropology are as captivating as they are complex. And so is the lingo they use. But with the help of the glossaries below, no term will remain a mystery.
About – Learn about archaeology one word at a time. Explore definitions, illustrations of archaeological terms and dig sites.
West Virginia – A short list of the most common archaeological terms.
Archaeological Institute of America – For anyone and everyone interested in a crash course in archaeology, an Introduction to Archaeology Glossary meant for students.
British Archaeological Jobs Resource – A glossary of common archaeological terms, 5 pages long and downloadable.
M3 Motorway – This website provides a short list of general terms and a long list of archaeological terms and their definitions, for your own personal use.
University of Manitoba – 19 pages of archaeological terminology. If you’re looking for a word, you’ll probably find it here. And you can even download the glossary and use it offline.
The Guardian – A beginner’s guide to archaeology: a couple of key concepts any newcomer needs to know.
Great Archaeology – If you’re looking for a reliable source of information on archaeological terminology, this is it. A comprehensive guide, invaluable for those who call themselves beginners in this field.
Archaeology Expert – A jargon buster glossary of archaeological terminology: an introductory list of expressions likely to be encountered in specialised articles or on dig sites.
Parks Canada – Not an exhaustive list of archaeological terms, but a glossary of the most common terms, including some abbreviations and acronyms.
Arrow Archaeology – Another glossary with a focus on archaeology, shorter than others, but it might be what you’re looking for.
ABC Klubben – If you are looking for definitions of particular underwater archaeology-related terms, then this is the place to be.
Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center – An awesome glossary of archaeological terms, equipped with photos to aid the definitions.
International committee for anthropogenic soils – 17 pages of underwater archaeology terminology. The best thing: it’s downloadable and it also has hypertext!
Washington State University – Abbreviations and acronyms will give you a headache, but with this glossary you’ll figure it out in no time. Terminology used in lithic analysis, 10 pages long and downloadable.
ISGAP 1– Trying to translate a very technical text on archaeology? Here is a glossary of technical archaeological terms to help with the matter.
Archaeology Data Service – A handy list of acronyms from the Archaeology Data Service, or ADS.
ISGAP 2 – You are likely to come across these terms and abbreviations in the UK, but you could also encounter them anywhere else. Archaeological resources and projects, and their acronyms.
ISGAP 3 – This field of work has a lot of related organisations, often abbreviated. Here is a list of archaeology and heritage organisations and their acronyms.
Palomar College 1 – We love this glossary of cultural anthropology because it provides pronunciation for each term defined. Just click the button and hear it out loud!
Palomar College 2 – Also as awesome as the one above, but this one is with a focus on physical anthropology.
McGraw Hill – If you still couldn’t find your term, this cultural anthropology glossary might help.
Quizlet – Hear the word out loud and even the definition! A great resource for those with an interest.
Alan McFarlane – Ten pages of technical terms used by anthropologists, aimed at students.
Discover Anthropology – Shorter than others, a glossary of terms commonly used in anthropology.
McGraw Hill 1 – Very useful for those with an interest, a primate glossary with definitions and guides to pronunciation.
McGraw Hill 2 – Is biological anthropology giving you problems? Debug it with this glossary!
Academia – An anthro-linguistics glossary alphabetically organised and with a friendly ‘download’ button on the side.
Cultural Anthropology – A resource especially designed for students, a long list of terms relate to cultural anthropology.
University of Manitoba – A list of terms pertaining to Manitoba prehistoric archaeology.
Archi – This is a website with a special focus on Roman terms. You are bound to encounter them if you’re trying to translate related texts.
U.S. National Park Service – Managing archaeological collections is as important as archaeological discoveries themselves. Learn a few related terms in this specialised glossary.
Texas Beyond History – Some visual help accompanies the definitions on this website. Great!
About – Curious about archaeological investigations in a particular country? This is a list of archaeological investigations categorised by country.
Manor Lodge – Lots of definitions and cross-reference in this handy and useful glossary of archaeological terms.
Do you know a great glossary that’s not on the list? Please send us the link and a short description using the Feedback form on the left hand side.