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10 Quotes About Archaeology

A selection of my favourite quotes on archaeology

Looking for some quotes about archaeology and the study of the past? Here are 10 quotes to get you started!

1) “I’m not an historian but I can get interested – obsessively interested – with any aspect of the past, whether it’s palaeontology or archaeology or the very recent past.”Dame Penelope Lively (Author & Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature)

2) “For me, archaeologists do not discover the past; they work on what remains. Archaeology is about our relationships with what is left of the past. And more – archaeology is the discipline of things – the history of design, how people get on with the material world, materiality itself.” ~ Michael Shanks (Archaeologist)

3) “Archaeology is the only discipline that seeks to study human behaviour and thought without having any direct contact with either.”Bruce G. Trigger (Archaeologist, Anthropologist & Ethnohistorian)

4) “The trend of all knowledge at the present is to specialize, but archaeology has in it all the qualities that call for the wide view of the human race, of its growth from the savage to the civilized, which is seen in all stages of social and religious development.” ~ Margaret Murray (Egyptologist & Anthropologist)

5) “An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.” ~ Agatha Christie (Author & Amateur Archaeologist)

6) “It’s interesting to see that people had so much clutter even thousands of years ago. The only way to get rid of it all was to bury it, and then some archaeologist went and dug it all up.”Karl Pilkington (TV Personality, Actor & Former Radio Producer)

7) “Archaeology is the peeping Tom of the sciences. It is the sandbox of men who care not where they are going; they merely want to know where everyone else has been.”James Bishop (Author & Journalist)

8) “Those were the great days of excavating… anything to which a fancy was taken, from a scarab to an obelisk, was just appropriated, and if there was a difference with a brother excavator, one laid for him with a gun.”Howard Carter (Archaeologist & Egyptologist)

9) “Archaeology is about facts….Forget any ideas you’ve got about lost cities, exotic travel and digging up the world. We do not follow maps to buried treasure, and X never, ever marks the spot.”Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. (Fictional Archaeologist & Heartthrob)

10) “Archaeology is not what you find, it’s what you find out.”David Hurst Thomas (Archaeologist)

All Giza Pyramids in one shot. Русский: Все пи...

The Pyramids at Giza, Egypt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you have any favourite quotes of your own, feel free to share them in the comments section below. 🙂


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About Kelly M (396 Articles)
A Gibraltarian-born blogger, gamer, and archaeology enthusiast with a passion for languages and wildlife conservation. Tweets under the username @TombRaiderArch and runs the official fansite, The Archaeology of Tomb Raider.

4 Comments on 10 Quotes About Archaeology

  1. I’ll have to share that Agatha Christie quote with my wife. Awesome post!

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  2. Your quote by Bruce Trigger made my day. He was one of my professors in my undergrad and I absolutely loved the courses I took with him. Nice memory! 🙂

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