Archaeology, (Gk. a discourse upon what is ancient), the science which treats of antiquity; the science by which we acquire knowledge of ancient times by studying the relics and traditions of those times. Archaeology is divided into various branches. For instance, that particular branch which is connected with written books is termed Bibliography (q.v.); while that which investigates written manuscripts is known as Palaeography (q.v.). The prehistoric period of mankind is divided by archaeologists into various ages, the Stone age (which is again subdivided into the Palaeolithic and the Neolithic ages), the Bronze age, and the Iron age. There are a great many societies in existence which profess the study of archaeology, the best known and oldest established being the Society of Antiquaries of London and Of Scotland.