World of Warcraft Archaeology Guide

By Jason Bechdel -

Archaeology in World of Warcraft is focused on locating, piecing together, and appraising ancient artifacts from the various races of Azeorth (and perhaps beyond). These artifacts were unearthed in the Cataclysm brought about by Deathwing. This profession will unlock unique and fun rewards such as vanity pets and mounts. Also occasionally players may also discover a rare weapon or armor piece. Archaeology is designed to be a very causal profession. Read on to learn more about this secondary profession.

Training Archaeology

As it is with all World of Warcraft professions you must first train Archaeology before you can really dig into it. To do this seek out an Archaeology Trainer. These trainers can be found in all major cities and can easily be located by speaking with a nearby city guard.

Belloc Brightblade

Dig Sites

Once you have trained in the Archaeology profession you will be able to view dig sites on the World Map as well as individual zone maps. Dig sites on the World Map appear as tiny shovels, while sites on the zone map will appear as a colored circle.

Archaeology Digsites

There will always be five dig sites available per continent at all times. These dig sites will not change unless they are dug out. The number of zones and continents you can find dig sites on will depend on your current Archaeology profession skill level as well as character level. Each dig site is player specific meaning you will never face any competition.

Surveying and Fragments

Once you have located a dig site using your maps, you will want to use the [Survey] ability. This ability is learned with the Archaeology profession and can only be used when your character is near a dig site. When used [Survey] will drop a tripod telescope equipped with a small light. This telescope provides two bits of useful information; direction and distance from the dig site. When the tripod is placed it automatically points in the direction that you need to follow to move closer to the dig site. Distance on the other hand can be determined by taking a glance what color the light on the tripod currently is. Check out the helpful diagram below to learn more:

Archaeology Tripod Color

Use [Survey] while you are within 5 yards of the dig site and a fragment piece will appear. You may survey the site up to six times before it vanishes and is replaced with a new dig site somewhere else on your map. Each fragment you find at a dig site is specific to a particular race. Different zones provide different fragment pieces:

Archaeology Race Map


Each time you loot a fragment piece from a dig site it will be placed in your Archaeology Journal. Inside the journal players will find a listing of all the races you may collect fragments for. Races you currently have fragments for are colored. Clicking on any of the races in color will reveal more information about the race and will also display a bar showing how many fragments you currently have and how many you need to complete the artifact. To view the Archaeology Journal click "Archaeology" from your Profession tab.

Archaeology Journal MoP

These fragments are automatically placed into research projects for the race they belong to. Once enough fragments for that race have been collected, an artifact can be created by clicking the "Solve" button. Excess fragments do not go to waste, instead they can be used to start a new research project for the race. You cannot control which project will open for your character, it is randomly selected. Players may only work on one research project for a particular race at a time.

Do you have any helpful tips or tricks for the Archaeology profession? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section below!
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