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Revision of Archaeology from Thu, 2010-12-16 18:29

Crackerhead22's picture


Archaeology, the newest secondary profession to enter into WoW, and not one for the impatient. Archaeology takes a very long time to do. I'll be honest, fishing is more exciting than this profession. If you are a Dwarf though, you do get a racial buff, called Explorer, which allows you to Survey faster and get more fragments when you find them.
But there are some very good perks if you can stick with it. Such as rare pets, rare and epic weapons/armor(that are Bind to Account), a couple of epic mounts, and a random interesting item or three.

Archaeology Profession Window

Once you have any sort of artifact, be it Night Elf, Troll or Fossils. The Archaeology profession menu becomes a lot more useful.

The Current Artifacts tab, will show you which races you currently have artifacts for. You can then click on whichever race you see, so you can see which artifact you are currently working on.

There is one more tab, and that is the Completed Artifacts tab. Basically what that is, is just shows which artifacts you have completed. You can sort by race, and rarity.


Now onto the basics. After you train (trainers below), you will have two new things under the Professions tab in your spell book. Archaeology, and Survey.
So from now on, you will always have 4 dig sites on each continent, depending on your skill level. Up to 300 is Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, 300-375 will be Outlands, 375-450 you will have Northrend availible, and 450+ all the new Cataclysm zones. As your looking at the continent map, you will see small shovels, that is where one of the dig sites is located.


Now, once you have located dig site on the continent map, you can zoom into the zone to see exactly where it is, that way you can fly to the nearest flight point if that is easier.


Once you have landed near the site, and have actually gone to the site, here comes the fun part. We are basically going to be playing the Hot&Cold game now. Once inside the site you use Survey, when you do that, your survey equipment will spawn. You will notice that there is a light, depending on how close you are to the artifact fragments, will dictate on what color the light is.

Red indicates you are far away, while Yellow means you are getting closer. When it becomes Green, you should be within 40 yards of the fragments. Now as you are using Survey, you will want to pay attention to the direction of the telescope. Reason being that it will point you in the proper direction. Then when you get withing 10 yards, the Artifact Fragments will appear, just click on the sparkling item on the ground to pick them up. You will get between 2-5 every time.


Now onto the trainers, if you get lost, just ask a guard. There 12 total that I know of, they are as follows.

Name Location Faction
Dariness the Learned Dalaran - The Legerdemain Lounge Neutral
Boduro the Seeker Shattrath - Lower City southern area Neutral
Harrison Jones Stormwind City - Stormwind Keep Alliance
Hammon the Jaded Darnassus - Temple of the Moon Alliance
Falda Fardelve Borean Tundra - Valiance Keep Alliance
Doktor Professor Ironpants Ironforge - Hall of Explorers Alliance
Diya Exodar - The Vault of Lights Alliance
Otoh Greyhide Thunder Bluff - The Elder Rise Horde
Lindarel Borean Tundra - Warsong Hold Horde
Elynara Silvermoon City - The Royal Exchange Horde
Belloc Brightblade Orgrimmar - The Valley of Strength Horde
Adam Hossack Undercity - The Magic Quarter Horde

Leveling Archaeology

Leveling Archaeology is actually fairly simple, if not long. Up until 100 Archaeology you will level up only by looting the Artifact Fragments. As your doing this, do not solve the Artifacts, that is for the next step.

Once you reach 100 Archaeology, to level any farther you must solve Artifacts. Every time you solve an Artifact, you will get 5 points to your skill level. To let you know, you can get the same artifact more than once. And that is leveling Archaeology in a nutshell.


Now, as you survey and get fragments, now and then you will get a Keystone there are 9 different ones you can get(there is no Keystone for Fossils). Each Keystone you get can add 12 fragments to the current artifact you are solving, making it quicker to solve it. There is a catch though, only certain artifacts will be able to have Keystones added in. Those that can will have between 1-3 Keystone slots. You can tell if your current artifact can have a keystone, by looking under the progress bar, it will have a shaded hexagon(s) there.


Crackerhead22's picture

Added items from 4.1 patch.

Added items from 4.1 patch.

Crackerhead22's picture

Updated the couple of thing

Updated the couple of thing for 4.0.6, and added a different "back to the top" button.


Nice guide, but perhaps things have changed a bit since written. The guide reads:

"Up until 100 Archaeology you will level up only by looting the Artifact Fragments. As you are doing this, do not solve the Artifacts, that is for the next step."

However, starting at about 80 skill points, it became less frequent to get a point by simply digging up a new artifact. In fact, after the high 80s it became the exception to receive a point, and by the mid 90's surveying for points became essentially "grey" as in other professions. Two or three zones might pass without a skill point. Finally solving the hundreds of fragments that I had collected as this slow down occurred did give skill points, even below 100.

A better approach would be to keep digging until the points slow down in the  mid to high 80s, then start solving. Going an hour or more without getting a point is just too frustrating.

kayeich's picture

Actually, I would point out

Actually, I would point out that not getting it to 100 through digging is actually foolish, even given the slowed rate on points. This is because if you get up to 100 and then start solving all the fragments you've're still going to need fragments to get to level 525.... LOTS MORE fragments.

Fragments that you're -not- getting skill points off of, but you could potentially gotten some off of getting it to 100. In essence, by going to 100 instead of starting at 80, you saved yourself from having to solve 4 artifacts. Which doesn't sound that impressive at first, but when you consider that it takes 30 fragments to make a -common- artifact (not to say the least if you get 'lucky' and get a rare artifact and their much larger fragment requirements)....

Though as Cracker pointed out, they're changing it so you won't get levelups after 50 points with patch 4.0.6. Which is just EVIL since it means 10 extra artifacts. Small comfort in that survey's cooldown went down at least.

Crackerhead22's picture

Once 4.0.6 comes out I will

Once 4.0.6 comes out I will be changing it up.  Since the leveling process for it is changing.

Buggy or just doing it wrong?

If I zoom out to the whole continent, I can see my 4 dig sites, but if I zoom into the zone map, the red area doesn't always match up with where the shovel said it would be. If I attempt to dig there anyhow, it doesn't work. Also sometimes it puts the red dig site on an area on the zone map, but doesn't work as it doesn't match the  continent map... I've even had the red dig site info move from checking the map at one point and checking it again another time, and I was still in the zone.

Or it might be my addons? I have Mapster, I may try unloading that.

kayeich's picture

For what it's worth, I use

For what it's worth, I use mapster as well, and haven't had problems with it. Might as well try unloading it anyway to see if it helps, but I don't -think- it's that particular addon.


It seems to be Kalimdor that is the issue... if the comments for it on the Curse page for it are correct. Unloaded for now. Map working again for archaeology. I do like Mapster though, so probably will return to it soon. I actually prefer Carbonite's map, but I don't like the bloat of the rest of Carbonite, so Mapster it is. :)

I like the profession so far though, it is fun. 

Khelamednar's picture

Thanks for the guide! You

Thanks for the guide! You really helped to explain archaeology for me and some of my guild mates... also loved you're leveling guides.

Keep up the good work!

Lycander's picture

A Tol'Vir item missing

It's possible to get Recipe: Vial of the Sands if you're an Alchemist.  There's a chance it's contained in any Canopic Jar you solve.  It's apparently pretty rare (and expensive to make), but the crafted items allows you to turn into a dragon and carry a passenger.  Being a Tol'Vir artifact, you have to have a 450 archaeology to get the fragments in the first place.

As this will probably be highly sought-after, I wanted to at least let you know.

Crackerhead22's picture

Did not know that, I'll make

Did not know that, I'll make a note of it.

kayeich's picture

Professor title! =D

Suggest adding that you get a title "Assistant Professor" for getting a rare artifact, and "Associate Professor" for getting 10 rare artifacts.

I rather like these titles. I kinda wish they had a "Graduate Professor" for getting all the archeology achievement though. That would have made my day. =)

wkjezz's picture

Professor Turtledawg does

Professor Turtledawg does have a ring to it.....  As for my name Turtledog... thank Jiymabi for that following a 48 hour guide writing session and launch night leveling jamboree


Crackerhead22's picture

I actuall did not know about

I actuall did not know about the titles.  Thanks for letting me know that.  Will put those in.

kayeich's picture

experience mention

Btw, I think it's worth noting in the guide that you do get experience from archaeology and how decent it is. Just from rest bonus and trying to get to 100 archaeology, I went from 80 to 81. No quests done.

Crackerhead22's picture

Yea, I did the same.  Wasn't

Yea, I did the same.  Wasn't sure if it was worth mentioning since all the gathering proffesions give exp.  But since you suggested it, I will.

Crackerhead22's picture

Thank you all for your

Thank you all for your comments.  It was actually kinda fun doing this.  Haven't touched HTML, BBCode, CSS stuff in years.

kayeich's picture

Is it wrong that the thing I

Is it wrong that the thing I felt most like commenting on is how much I love your banner's image? That outfit plus the survey tool just makes me smile hard. =)

Bitsem's picture

Beauty! :)

Beauty! :)

Things I never thought I'd say...

"Your brother is not a dog! Get that leash off of him!"

Jiyambi's picture

The guide is looking really

The guide is looking really nice Cracker, the reward list is awesome! Thanks for putting so much hard work into this!

Crackerhead22's picture

No problem and thanks.  CSS

No problem and thanks.  CSS is a pain to relearn.  Took me the longest to figure out how to redo tables like that.

Jiyambi's picture

You might want to check out

You might want to check out and possibly recommend the addon Minimal Archaeology. The link I provided is an overview of the addon, but should also have download links.

I'm hoping there will soon be an addon to push archaeology points to TomTom as waypoints automatically. It seems like it would be quite useful!

Jiyambi's picture

On second thought, after

On second thought, after downloading several archaeology addons, the one I would recommend above all others is Archy. It's not a triangulation mod (so far those only seem to take MORE time to use, not less).

Archy instead displays a list of your current dig sites with awesome features like being able to click them to view the map, shows what artifacts are available at those dig sites, and has a plug in directly to TomTom to show where the next closest dig site is located. It has a list of in progress artifacts and keystones and allows you to click to complete them. It also marks where artifacts were found on the map so you can check those spots when surveying points you to places close to them. All of the features are customizable. All in all, a VERY nice addon and one I will recommend to anyone seeking to use this profession.

Crackerhead22's picture

I've now quoted you on that. 

I've now quoted you on that.  =P

Crackerhead22's picture

I'll have to check that out. 

I'll have to check that out.  Thanks about that.

Crackerhead22's picture

Very much a work in progress.

Very much a work in progress.  The rewards section is going to take awhile to compile.

Jiyambi's picture

Would you like me to promote

Would you like me to promote it to the front page now, or wait until it is complete?