AIM of the STUDY. A qualitative and quantitative study of the influence of archaeology on western civilization as recorded in contemporary media, i.e. as pictures or mention of archaeologists and/or prehistoric Man in scientific publications, adverts, art, the press, books, films, and comics. RESULTS. Archaeology is seen as one of the factors that helps to shape the modern age, whose development is very closely related to the emergence of the economic thinking and social structures that characterise western civilization. Images of the archaeologist and prehistoric Man, in view of their many-faceted treatment by contemporary western society, basically reflect the values and norms of western societies. METHODS. Taking images of the archaeologist and prehistoric Man portrayed in the various media, it is possible to demonstrate the integrating effect (e.g. national identity) that archaeological research has had and still has on western societies. THESIS. Acceptance of the results of archaeological research constitutes a very specific portion of western perception of space and time and helps to provide a framework for present-day human behaviour, which is primarily based on ideas of progress and evolution. SOCIAL FUNCTION. Images of the archaeologist and prehistoric Man are apparently used as a social inspiration (Leitbild), whose integrative potential is concerned with the search for an identity at all levels, a process that is based on the past but concerns the future. In the western world, this process is rooted in the historisation of the landscape (which is part of the processes of secularisation and laizism). The western quest after origins is seen as a consequence of this. Since this quest hangs together with a certain legitimatisation of one’s own society, it is invariably politically tinted (e.g. national archaeology, Marxism etc.) and even sometimes transcendental (Druid cult, biblical archaeology, New Age, etc.). SOCIAL INSPIRATION. With the help of a social inspiration (Leitbild) based on archaeology, social constraints can be removed and make social relations and communication more flexible, particularly at the present time when western society as a whole is disintegrating. Against the background of acceleration of the process of differentiation in western society, inspiration has its effect on both the national and international levels. With its help the increasingly unstable social structure can be adequately explained, since in a globalised world social hierarchy in the western world is becoming based on evolutionary biology, geology and archaeology instead of religious beliefs. The popular modern argument in this connection is the principle of unequal equality, which is based on progress-oriented thinking. The social consequence of this thinking is expressed as the dogma of inequality.