Below is compilation of various Questions players have with Archaeology.

If you find any answers below incorrect then please tell us!

Note – Updated for 4.1.0

Misc Topics:


Q: Help! a dig site is currently bugged for me! A node is out of reach of the ‘dig site’ and my survey tool won’t budge, how do I fix this?
A: Go clear a different dig site/zone then return to the problematic one, it should reset the survey tool.
–   Also, you may need to switch to a different continent and survey to fix this (such as Kalimdor to E.Kingdoms)

Q: How do I skill up past 50?
A: After reaching 50, you need to solve research projects to skill-up. After solving something you will gain ~3-6 skill ups depending on the artifact (and your race).

Q: Should I solve projects as soon as I can complete them?
A: It’s recommended that you wait until skill 50 before solving anything because gathering fragments will only boost your skill-up until 50. But be sure to not go over the Fragment Cap.

Q: What can I skill up on past 50?
A: You’ll need to complete Projects in your Archaeology Journal.

Q: Do rare project artifacts give more skill-ups?
A: As of December 22nd, you gain triple ‘skill-up’ from making rare items as compared to completing/making a common ones.

Q: I want to buy Keystones from the AuctionHouse, where would I browse to find them?
A: Keystones around found under Trade Goods -> Metal & Stone. It’s recommended to search for them by name though (i.e. Tol’vir Hieroglyphic). Note: Fossils do not have keystones.


Q: I trained archaeology why can I not see anything on my minimap?
A: You can see digsites on your (World) map, not your minimap. To see them on your minimap you will need an addon.

Q: Can I Survey anywhere to find Artifacts?
A: You will only find sites in zones of your level or lower. (Outland 300 skill, Northrend 375 skill, etc.)

Q: How many sites are active for me at once?
A: There are always only 4 digsites per continent at any given time. (Vashj’ir was removed from the s.)

Q: Are the digsites and artifacts just like mining and herbalism nodes, open for everyone?
A: No – Unlike other gathering professions, digsites are player-specific (phased). Other players will not be able to Survey your fragments. (There is no competition for digsites.)

Q: What is the limit for the digsites? How much can I find?
A: Each digsite can be searched/surveyed 3 successful times before it despawns and a new site spawns on you world map.

Q: How do I search a digsite?
A: To search a digsite, use the Survey ability/spell in your Professions Tab.

Q: What do the light colors on my Survey tool indicate?
A: Red means you’re far away, around 70 yards or more. Yellow means you’re within 70 yards or closer. Green means you may be within 30 yards or closer.


Q: Where is the best concentration of Night Elf Dig Sites?
A: Kalimdor

Q: Where is the best concentration of Dwarf Dig Sites?
A: Eastern Kingdoms

Q: Where is the best concentration of Fossil Dig Sites?
A: Kalimdor (pre-450 skill) and Eastern Kingdoms (after-450 skill)

Q: Where is the best concentration of Troll Dig Sites?
A: Eastern Kingdoms

Q: Where is the best concentration of Draenei and Orc Dig Sites?
A: These two are only found in Outland

Q: Where is the best concentration of Vrykul and Nerubian Dig Sites?
A: Vrykul are only found in Northrend – however the Eastern Kingdoms has some Nerubian sites but mainly survey Northrend for Nerubian.

Q: Where is the best concentration of Tol’vir Dig Sites?
A: Kalimdor – Spawn chances shared with the four other races (After reaching skill 450)


Q: I found a fragment for a race what does this mean?
A: Whenever you get a new fragment for a race, you’ll start a research project. (You can only work on one artifact per race at a time.)

Q: How many Fragments can I find?
A: A recent hotfix puts the number between 3 to 6 fragments towards end-game Archaeology. This number is 3 to 7 if you are a Dwarf.

Q: How do I complete the item that the fragments are assembling?
A: When you have enough fragments, click Solve button to complete that artifact.

Q: Will I find a second copy of common object?
A: Yes – You will find copies of artifacts unfortunately, often before finding every unique/single one.

Q: Do rare artifacts exist?
A: Some artifacts are rare and they will make a superior or epic item. (Many are just vanity. ) Some of them are actual weapons and armor that are bound to account (but don’t scale based on level). You will never get a rare artifact more than once.

Q: There are so many common artifacts and they’re BindonPickup, what do I do with them?
A: Most player simply vendor/sell these items for bag space because they hold no value apart from Lore and RP purposes.

Q: I have not played since the 4.1.0  patch, is there anything new with Archaeology?
A: Yes, six new rares have been added and several buffs such as dig sites will favor races that you still need to complete projects for.

[bluepost]The future

We designed archaeology to be easily expandable, so we plan to add much more content in future patches, including new races to research (though to be fair, there’s a sizable amount of content already). We also have a feature that is not available on beta yet, that allows you to use your archaeology skill for a slight (think Fish Feast-level) bonus in the Cataclysm dungeons. (Source no longer available, was on the old forums)[/bluepost]

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