It is part of human nature to be interested in the past. The earliest known ‘archaeologist’ was Nabonidus, a 6th-century bc king of Babylon. The term itself was invented in the 17th century. ‘The origins and development of archaeology’ charts the history of the science and study of archaeology from its earliest origins through to the Roman Empire, the medieval period, and beyond into the 20th and 21st centuries. There have been two major trends in archaeology over time: excavation has become slower and more painstaking; and we can now learn far more about each object than we were able to before, thanks to science and technology.