An Overview of Archaeology: The New Secondary Profession in World of Warcraft

Archaeology is the new secondary profession available in the Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft. It will be most popular with fans of the Warcraft lore, as it will give more of the backstory for many of the races. In this article I will go over the basics of the Archaeology profession, including how to unlock all of the different races.
The Basics

You can train the Apprentice level of Archaeology at any of the Archaeology trainers once your character reaches level 20. After you do this, you will see four shovel icons on your world map on the continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms in Azeroth. These are the excavation sites where you can dig up fragments that are used to complete artifact projects. There are always four excavation sites per continent, and their locations are randomly spawned in zones all over the continent. To gather the fragments, you just have to go to the area on the zone map that is highlighted in red and use the Survey skill. This will spawn a surveying device that will point you toward the fragments and will have one of three colored flashing lights. Red means you are far away, yellow means you are getting closer, and green means you are very close. You can dig up fragments three times at each excavation site, and then a new site will randomly spawn on the continent where you currently are.

Completing Your Artifact Projects

Each Archaeology project requires a varying number of fragments to complete, as little as 25 for the easiest Common artifacts, and up to 150 fragments for the Rare artifacts. Luckily you will sometimes find keystones in addition to the fragments you dig up from the sites. Keystones count as 12 fragments, and you can use from 1 to 3 in most projects.

Raise Your Skill To Unlock More Projects

There are currently a total of nine different races’ artifacts that you can find, with only the first four being available at the beginning. They are Dwarf, Fossil, Night Elf, and Troll, and they can only be found in the classic World of Warcraft zones on Azeroth. As you raise your Archaeology skill through the higher tiers you can unlock the rest of the races. Draenei and Orc are unlocked at skill level 300, and the fragments can only be found in Outland zones. At skill level 375 you can find fragments in Northrend zones for Nerubian and Vrykul artifacts, and at skill level 450 you can find Tol’vir fragments in the new Cataclysm zones in Azeroth.

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