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WoW Archaeology Guide 1-600 Leveling | Archaeology Guide - Video Added!

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Below is a detailed walk-through on how to level Archaeology 1-600 the easiest and quickest way possible. Archaeology is a new Cataclysm secondary profession that doesn't take too much effort, although it does take time, and can be a fun a secondary profession to supplement your primary professions while giving some very nice rewards such as a nice mount - [Fossilized Raptor], pet - [Fossilized Hatchling], the possibility of containing the [Recipe: Vial of the Sands] in a [Canopic Jar] to make the Alchemy mount and other rewards that include Bind on Account items.

WoW Archaeology Guide 1-600 Leveling | Archaeology Guide Overview

  • Hunting the unknown, discovering the lost, knowing the forgotten. The Explorers' League of Ironforge is redoubling its efforts to learn the secrets of the past. The league has begun teaching the discipline of archaeology to all members of the Alliance in a bold attempt to procure as many ancient relics as possible. This initiative is being matched by the campaign of the Reliquary -- a Horde faction formed from an unknown council based in Silvermoon. The Reliquary is training members of the Horde in the art of the dig and challenging them to find any and all artifacts of historical significance before the Explorers' League does. Each side now jockeys for position, relishing in the chase, vying for control of time-lost relics, and jealously guarding any valuable information the objects may impart.
  • Archaeology is a new secondary profession introduced in Cataclysm that can be trained along with Cooking, First Aid, and Fishing. After learning Archaeology from the appropriate trainer in a major city, the newly educated treasure hunter will be presented with an Archaeology Journal to track his or her progress, as well as a surveying tool to facilitate discoveries.
  • The main purpose of Archaeology, of course, is to find artifacts! Artifacts are items lost to history that carry with them a story of the past. While their worth is mainly obtained from the information they impart and the simple joy of discovering them, rarer artifacts represent treasures of sizeable value. Every artifact has an origin, and these origins can be traced back to the races that now inhabit Azeroth and Outland. Research projects are presented in the Archaeology Journal, categorized by the races they're associated with. The fragments needed to complete each research project can be discovered by visiting dig sites.
  • At any time, players can open their maps and see these dig sites outlined for them across Azeroth and Outland. Upon reaching a dig site, a player can then search for artifact fragments with the survey tool. The survey tool arms the Archaeologist with two unique devices: a telescope and a distance indicator. The distance indicator will change from red to yellow to green as the treasure hunter gets closer, while the telescope will keep pointing the player in the right direction. When the player locates and digs up the treasure, it will provide the Archaeologist with fragments that are collected in the journal. This process will eventually result in a complete artifact.
  • Completing the rarer artifacts can reward the Archaeologist with unique items, including epic-quality weapons, mounts, and non-combat pets. In addition to the normal artifact fragments used to finish all research projects, special fragments called keystones can also be found by higher-level players. These fragments are valuable to all Archaeologists because they count as five normal fragments for most research projects, and they can be freely sold and traded. Archaeologists of exceptional skill can also use keystones to grant benefits to their friends in high-end raid instances.
  • Whether you're an avid treasure hunter with a drive to discover all the world has to offer, someone interested in uncovering the mysteries of the past, or an explorer looking to obtain items of power, Archaeology is your ticket to a glorious adventure. Source: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Website

Archaeology Guide - Getting Started

  • Start by learning Apprentice Archaeology. This requires level 20. You can ask a guard in any major city to find where an Archaeology trainer is located.
  • Next, open up your full map (hotkey-"m") to find some digsites. Make sure you're zoomed out to the continent level and look for shovels. You should see up to four in all, per continent, that is around your skill level & character level (some screenshots below). Meaning at first, you won't likely see any in Outlands or higher zones. These digsites also do not despawn or respawn in other locations until you dig the ones you have regardless of logging out or server restarts. With that being said, dig what you have to progress onward.
  • Archaeology Shovel Example Archaeology Dig Site Example

  • Once you head to one of the digsites, you'll use your Survey ability to find barried artifact fragments. I like to drag my Survey ability to my hot bar to make it a bit easier/quicker to use. The light indicates how close you are with red being far, yellow closer, and green close. After a few green lights in the right direction and you'll discover an artifact fragment.
  • Archy - Archaeology Assistant is a very useful addon that will display the digsite locations. It also records where you dig up a frag similar to gatherer for Mining & Herbalism. This can help you guess where a frag is buried and ultimately save time. The most useful part of Archy however has to be the light indicator. If your survey says red, line up your character with the scope and travel in that direction until Archy shows a red light. Survey again and repeat for each color. Yellow, travel until it shows up yellow. Green, travel until it shows up green. Archy also allows for easy solving of artifacts, simply click the solve button next to the artifact. To add keystones, just left the keystone slot. Ok, now that you understand Archy a bit better, back to the guide.
  • Once you get the hang of it, you'll be finding fragments in 3-5 survey uses. Each digsite can be dug three times before it despawns and another one becomes available. One really interesting thing about Archaeology is noone can ninja your digsite or find your loot. It's only visible to you.
  • When deciding where to dig next, check your map and head to the nearest location. Sometimes you'll get lucky and have 2 or 3 dig sites in the same zone.
  • Depending on your level and where you're digging, you will find fragments from eight different races as well as a fossil type (that awesome mount & pet). Each race also has a special keystone that you can find that will speed up solving the research project. Basically, it helps fill in some missing fragments but will not work while solving all your research projects; just some. I've listed some below.
  • Keystones:
    Nerubian Obelisk - Nerubian
    Tol'vir Hieroglyphic - Tol'vir
    Troll Tablet - Troll
    Highborne Scroll - Night Elf
    Vrykul Rune Stick - Vrykul
    Dwarf Rune Stone - Dwarf
    Orc Blood Text - Orc
    Draenei Tome - Draenei
    Pandaren Pottery Shard - Pandaren
    Mogu Statue Piece - Mogu
  • Once you get a good amount of fragments together you'll be able to begin solving them. This usually takes anywhere from 25 up to 150 depending on the value and complexity of the research project. After you get all the fragments you need, click 'solve' and see what you get. You can get some awesome rewards like a nice mount - [Fossilized Raptor], pet - [Fossilized Hatchling], the possibility of containing the [Recipe: Vial of the Sands] in a [Canopic Jar] to make the Alchemy mount and other rewards that include Bind on Account items. It's really a profession worth having.


  • Now that you have a general understanding about Archaeology, you can begin leveling from 1-600.

    1-300 - Kalimdor & Eastern Kingdoms - Fossil, Troll, Dwarf, Night Elf
    300 - Outland: Draenei, Orc
    375 - Northrend: Vrykul, Nerubian, Troll
    450 - Uldum: Tol’vir
    525 - Pandaria

    Also, make sure to visit your Archaeology trainer to learn your profession ranks. I've listed them below.
    Skill Level Range: 1-50 (Apprentice) / Player Level Minimum: 20
    Skill Level Range: 50-75 (Journeyman) / Player Level Minimum: 20
    Skill Level Range: 125-150 (Expert) / Player Level Minimum: 20
    Skill Level Range: 200-225 (Artisan) / Player Level Minimum: 35
    Skill Level Range: 275-300 (Master) / Player Level Minimum: 50
    Skill Level Range: 350-375 (Grand Master) / Player Level Minimum: 65
    Skill Level Range: 425-525 (Illustrious Grand Master) / Player Level Minimum: 75
    Skill Level Range: 525-600 (Zen Master) / Player Level Minimum: 80 (85 to actually level it in Pandaria)

  • Once you get a good amount of fragments together you'll be able to begin solving them. I strongly urge you not to solve any artifacts until you reach skill level 50 after patch 4.0.6 launches. If you are one of the first to watch this video and it's still patch 4.0.3a then wait until skill level 100. At skill level 50 head to the Archaeology trainer and learn Journeyman Archaeology. From skill level 50 for patch 4.0.6 you will only get skill levels from solving artifacts. Each artifact solved will award five skill points. Solving artifacts usually takes anywhere from 25 up to 150 fragments depending on the value and complexity of the research project. After you get all the fragments you need, click 'solve' and see what you get. You can get a trash gray or some awesome rewards like a nice mount - [Fossilized Raptor], pet - [Fossilized Hatchling], the possibility of containing the [Recipe: Vial of the Sands] in a [Canopic Jar] to make the Alchemy mount and other rewards that include Bind on Account items. See below for a full reward list. It's really a profession worth having.

    Archaeology Rewards

    [Fossilized Raptor] - Fossil
    [Scepter of Azj'Aqir] - Tol'vir

    [Crawling Claw] - Tol'vir
    [Fossilized Hatchling] - Fossil
    [Clockwork Gnome] - Dwarf

    BoA Level 85 Items:
    [Ring of the Boy Emperor] (Caster DPS Ring) - Tol'vir
    [Staff of Ammunae] (Healing Staff) - Tol'vir
    [Zin'rokh, Destroyer of Worlds] (2h Sword) - Troll
    [Staff of Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan] (Caster DPS Staff) - Dwarf
    [Tyrande's Favorite Doll] (Healing Trinket) - Nightelf
    [Scimitar of the Sirocco] (1h Sword) - Tol'vir

    Misc Items:
    [Recipe: Vial of the Sands] in a [Canopic Jar] - Tol'vir

    Check here for the rest of the items including lower level BoAs, silly items, and uncommon artifacts (greys).

  • After you reach skill level 125-150, head to the trainer and learn Expert Archaeology. Next, head back out to continue gathering fragments to solve artifacts so you can level up. By now you should have gotten your first rare artifact and mine happens to be a Fossilized Hatchling. It's a small rare so only takes 85 frags but others can take up to 150. Pretty cool little pet nonetheless.
  • After you reach skill level 200-225, head to the trainer and learn Artisan Archaeology. Then, head back out and continue collecting frags.
  • One thing that I found to be helpful while leveling is having the map open so you can see the dig site's area. Once you've been using Archaeology for awhile you find out how inaccurate red light surveys can be. They sometimes point to outside of the dig site and this can waste a lot of time and be somewhat frustrating. Having the map open helps prevent this.
  • After you reach skill level 300, head to the trainer and learn Master Archaeology. To save some travel time, make sure you're skill level 300 or can get there by solving an artifact. This way you can go straight to Outlands when you train Master Archaeology.
  • Another thing to be careful with is rare artifacts give 15 skill points so if you're close to reaching the max like I am here, be sure to train first then solve the artifact. It pushed me from 290 to 305 but if I solved it first it would have stoppped at 300 thereby wasting 5 skill points. Archy tries to tell you this in a warning message which is helpful but can be annoying. If Archy ever bugs out, simply reload your ui with /reload ui to fix it.
  • Once you've hit 300 and trained Master Archaeology it's time to head to the Outlands. If you can't find a Mage to port you, just use the Blasted Lands portal near the portal trainer. The Outlands are by far the easiest and fastest to level in because there are only two races and the zones are fairly small when compared to Kalimdor or Eastern Kingdoms.
  • Travel time is the biggest time consumption part of Archaeology so having close zone with simple artifacts is nice. Especially when you get three dig sites in the same zone. You can also get lucky by having 2-3 frags dig up in the same location. I've had this happen several times so it's always smart to survey after you dig up a frag and loot it.
  • As you level, you'll run into different bugs with Archaeology that should be fixed by now but just in case they aren't. If you ever get a fragment that you can't dig up because it's not within the dig site, all you have to do is cry, write Blizzard a nasty forum post about how they should be perfect, and nerd rage to your friends for a week. Or actually you could just go dig another site and it will be reset. Yep, it's that simple. After digging another site if you return to the bugged dig site it should have different dig locations.
  • After you reach skill level 350-375, head to the trainer and learn Grand Master Archaeology. Then, return to the Outlands and continue collecting frags. You could of course head to Northrend but it's a slower route and the rewards aren't worth it to most. After you've completed everything you want, you can go back to Northrend to complete the Achievements and find the rare artifacts.
  • At some point you should start getting BoAs. The lower level ones are usually only fun or useful for a bit while you level your alt or use them as a twink. The higher level ones are really awesome though and I've been lucky enough to get the [Ring of the Boy Emperor]. These also reward 15 skill points apon completion.
  • As you level up, you'll also get different Achievements. Most don't have rewards but you can get a title from completing rare artifacts.
  • After you reach skill level 400-425, head to the trainer and learn Illustrious Grand Master Archaeology and level up to 450. From here on out, you'll want to stay in Kalimdor or Eastern Kingdoms depending on which items you really want. Most of what I want comes from Tol'vir so I'll stay in Kalimdor since Uldum is the only place for Tol'vir. The Night Elves also have a pretty awesome trinket I want as well so this continent is ideal for me. I'll list the different rewards on my website to help you decide which continent is best for you.
  • Continue on from 450 until 525 and train again. Then head to Pandaria and finish out your leveling to max level 600.
  • Like I said earlier, traveling is the biggest drag on leveling Archaeology. To help make things faster, use your hearthstone and the portals to make traveling quicker. This will save you big time on travel time.
  • Ok so after 19 hours, I finally hit 600. Grats everyone. Here comes the sad part though as you can tell by the pouring rain around me. Although I hit 600, I still have a lot of items I want from Archaeology so I'll continue doing it until all the items I want are found. I expect this to take another 18 hours or more depending on my luck.
  • The best item I've found so far is this awesome epic BoA, [Ring of the Boy Emperor]. This along with the Raptor mount, pet, and other fun toys like a hearth that will take you anywhere as long as you don't care where that anywhere is makes leveling Archaeology well worth it. Once you get a lot of rares solved, you can start being selective in which dig sites you go to so you can purposely solve certain ones faster.
  • Even after you get everything you want, you can use the profession to find keystones to give your heroic group buffs or sell them on the Auction House for mad cash. Blizzard is also hinting at new rewards so save those fragments if you've already completed all that race's rewards. Patch 4.0.6 will limit the fragments per race that you can have in your bags to 200 but as of right now if you have more than that, Patch 4.0.6 won't take away the extras but instead not allow you to get anymore until you drop below 200.
  • You can also use Archaeology to level your character. A lot of people have said they went from 80-83 with just Archaeology and no questing whatsoever. This route will be a lot slower but if you plan to level Archaeology anyway, it's a great way to save time overall.
  • As for professions that go with Archaeology, Herbalism and Mining could be semi-beneficial since you could sort of farm Herbs and Ore at the same time you level Archaeology. If you leveled all three at the same time you could easily hit level 83-84 from 80 without doing any quests and have three professions maxed out. It might be a bit awkward but could easily work for most.
  • Thanks for watching/reading^^!
  • "Now Go Survey Some Dig Sites or Something!"
  • Congratulations WoW Gamer!! You now have 600 Archaeology - Zen Master! Check out all the other great leveling and gold guides on by using the navigation at the top of this page.