I remember a meeting with a professor of Art History in Toronto in 2007 - part of a job interview related situation, I was challenged by him concerning media archaeology, claimed that it was "all metaphorical", this use of "archaeology" in that brand of research.
Indeed, this has perhaps plagued some of the media archaeological research that is more discursive in its nature. And yet, there are various contexts in which the term is used far from metaphorically. On the one hand, the variety of media archaeology often associated with Sophienstrasse 22 address in Berlin has insisted on the technological agency of objects/signals and materiality of the networks in which our methodologies of media research of the past have to function. On the other hand, now in other context "digital archaeologists" are taking up the challenge and focusing for instance on microchips as excavation sites for digging down, unpacking and taking apart. The link contains a fascinating take on 6502 microchip that stems from mid-1970s; it points towards the important realization that to understand the media archaeology of technical media, we need to focus on the components - such as chips - and not just the "end results", the media-objects that we usually recognize as media.