Difference between Archaeologist and Geologist

Key Difference: Archaeologists basically study about the human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material which they have left behind. Geologist basically deals with the study about the history of the Earth.

Archaeologists mainly study about the human past and present, through the materials which humans have left behind. The materials are those that humans used, made, or modified. The term is derived from the Greek word archaiologia, where archaio means “ancient” and logos means “science” and “study”. Archaeology is the science which deals with the study of ancient times. They analyze skeletal remains and artifacts, such as tools, pottery, cave paintings, and ruins of buildings. It provides an insight of the ancient times by analyzing the remained materials belonging to that time. It aims to preserve the history for present and future learning. In simple terms, an archaeologist deals with the field work that might consist of digging up and restoring artifacts, or human-made objects from ancient ruins.

Geologists are basically scientists who study the solid and liquid materials of the Earth. It is a broad term in science used for the studying of soils, minerals, rocks and other features and processes of soils. They are more occupied in examination for mining companies in search of metals, oils, and other Earth resources. However, they are also engaged in the study of natural hazards and disasters like earthquakes, volcanic activity, tsunamis, etc. Geologists work to understand the history of our planet. The better they can understand Earth’s history, the better they can foresee how events and procedures of the past might influence the future.

Comparison between Archaeologist and Geologist:





Archeologist deals with the study of ancient times. It provides an insight into the ancient times by analyzing the remained materials belonging to that time.

Geologist studies the history of the Earth. It is a broad term in science used for the study of soils, minerals, rocks and other features and processes of soils.





Generally, require a Ph.D.

Four-year college degree in geology.


  • Ethnoarchaeology – deals with the ethnographic investigation of living communities in order to acquire knowledge of the past.
  • Landscape archaeology – deals with the study of the various changes that take place in different landscapes, both naturally as well as due to human invention.
  • Environmental archaeology – deals with the study of interrelationship between the ancient people and their natural environment.
  • Household archaeology – recent development, deals with a small-scale excavation within a given area on an archaeological site.
  • Forensic archaeology – finding evidence on crime scenes.
  • Aviation archaeology – deals with finding historical remains of aircraft; everything related to aviation.
  • Underwater archaeology – associated with the study of underwater evidence such as shipwrecks, water-buried cities, etc.
  • Aerial archaeology – is the investigation of archaeological remains from the air.
  • Battlefield archaeology – deals with digging up battlefields of the past and recovering evidence relating to military activities.
  • They study earth processes – Geologists here work to understand the landslides, earthquakes, floods, and volcanic eruptions.


  • They study earth materials – Geologists here study about the earth materials that locate rocks. They also study about the important materials, plan the mines that excavates them and the methods used to remove the metals from the rocks.


  • They study earth history – geologists here mainly study about climate change. This study helps them to understand how our current climate is changing and what the result might be.

Renowned personalities

  • Mary, Louis and Richard Leakey – they worked in Kenya and has discovered the Proconsul africanus in 1948.
  • Jacques Cousteau - inventor of the aqualung which led underwater divers to new depths of exploration.
  • Florence Bascom - the first woman hired by the United States Geological Survey.
  • William R. Dickinson - his work in plate tectonics, sedimentary geology and Pacific Oceana geology and is considered one of the foremost experts on the geology of the Colorado Plateau.

Image Courtesy: theguardian.com, energy4me.org

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