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.

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)