Definition of excavator in US English:



  • 1A person who removes earth carefully and systematically from an archaeological site in order to find buried remains.

    • ‘When the dig was over it was generally the personal responsibility of the excavator, with little assistance, to sort out all the material and write it up for publication.’
    • ‘Well he had gone to Oxford and studied classical archaeology when people like Arthur Evans the famous excavator of Crete was there, it must have been an exciting time.’
    • ‘As Mortimer Wheeler put it 50 years ago, ‘the archaeological excavator is not digging up things, he is digging up people’.’
    • ‘Initially the excavation had been focused on the Greek city site of Halieis, but the excavators went over to dig at Franchthi because there were reports it was turning up bits of votive material.’
    • ‘Some of us joined the team as excavators, providing the fantastic opportunity to be makers and watchers.’
    • ‘Typically for the time, this strange group was interpreted by the excavators as being the victims of human sacrifice.’
    • ‘These were demonstrably built in two phases, one Augustan and the other Severan, since they are very different in style and construction: the excavator estimated that the original structure had places for at most six hundred people.’
    • ‘In one pit inside the enclosure, excavators found an adult's skull and a fragment of a long bone that had been cremated in situ within the pit.’
    • ‘So deeply impressed on the European mind was the Biblical image of the world that the first excavators of ancient sites in this region were looking for confirmation of the Bible.’
    • ‘The excavators interpret the site as having functioned in a Cahokia-centric trading network.’
    • ‘According to Colin Palmer-Brown of excavators Preconstruct Archaeology, all the gift offerings in the river seem to have been deliberately broken in an act of ritual destruction before being thrown into the river.’
    • ‘The excavators estimated a total burial population of as many as 200 before quarrying destroyed portions of the site.’
    • ‘The total number of burials estimated for both sites is based on the excavator's descriptions and the number of skeletal remains he reported.’
    • ‘Brian was a brilliant excavator - I remember attending a lecture he gave on his excavations at Dunbar, and thinking I ought just to throw my trowel away.’
    • ‘There are a number of diggers and excavators on site.’
    • ‘The material found in front of the palisade fence, in the ditches, and within the interior suggested to the excavator that the site was used for ritual, ceremonial, and funerary purposes by a fairly large group of people.’
    • ‘The inscription, found by excavators from Pre-Construct Archaeology on a possible temple site in Southwark, is one of the earliest pieces of physical evidence for the name of London.’
    • ‘None of these sites has been fully published, but one sometimes senses from the interim reports that the excavators are nervous of making too much of their structures because they do not fit the prevailing view.’
    • ‘Visible since the middle of the sixth century B.C. when it was built, the temple has served as a beacon and focus for early travelers, the first excavators of Corinth, and visitors to the site.’
    • ‘According to excavators from Pre-Construct Archaeology, the finds came from an area where a number of privateers are known to have lived between about 1580 and 1650.’
    1. 1.1 A large machine for removing soil from the ground, especially on a building site.
      • ‘Most workers in our sector use hand tools as well as the bigger equipment - dozers, excavators, and loaders.’
      • ‘Two 30-tonne and one 20-tonne earth excavators and a mini-dump truck were among the machines targeted some time after 9pm on Tuesday night and yesterday morning.’
      • ‘When these situations occur, conventional methods of mechanical shield machines or excavator machines are used.’
      • ‘There is no question of the value in using articulated trucks and hydraulic excavators for the major excavation work typically found on large site-preparation and road-building projects.’
      • ‘Earth movers, excavators, backhoes, and bulldozers rely on hydraulic fluids to lift, move, scrape, and dig.’
      • ‘Many excavator manufacturers consider any machine weighing less than about 8 tons to be a compact.’
      • ‘Installation at another site with an excavator and bulldozer working as a team took the same amount of time.’
      • ‘Most of us do not perceive trucks the same way as excavators, loaders, and dozers.’
      • ‘Kobelco offers the Blade Runner, which is a combination excavator and dozer.’
      • ‘He said it was up to the small-scale miners to organise themselves to hire machines like excavators, caterpillars, et cetera.’
      • ‘The excavator's pump system is the source of the oil, and it is routed to the attachment via tubelines and hoses on the workgroup.’
      • ‘If you haven't already noticed, compact excavators - those mini machines weighing no more than about 6-8 tons - are getting bigger.’
      • ‘He works in a crew that has three bulldozers, a large excavator, and two or more off-road haul trucks.’
      • ‘Because he can do more work from one position, the excavator operator moves his machine less.’
      • ‘Rather than bringing in a larger piece of equipment, an operator may overload a smaller excavator, lifting rocks heavier than what the equipment normally handles.’
      • ‘When the operator can see all around, he knows where he can swing the excavator's boom, reverse the dozer, or turn the grader.’
      • ‘The equipment replaced consisted of, for example, rough-terrain forklifts, midpowered dozers and excavators, manlifts, scissors lifts, and more.’
      • ‘The bird had a little trough of seed from which it kept on scooping up mechanical mouthfuls like an excavator scoops up earth.’
      • ‘He built a workshop, developed an excavator with an earth scoop and built a dam to supply water for a hydro electric plant to supply power for domestic use and for his engineering projects.’
      • ‘The other is mounted on a rover, such as a dozer, a motor grader, or an excavator.’