WoW Archaeology Guide 1-525

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This is an Archaeology Guide for 1-525 (updated for patch 4.3). Archaeology is the newest profession (secondary skill) in WoW. It is unique from other professions and secondary skills in that it is more just for fun that for gaining an actual skill or item that will help you in PvE or PvP fights (as least not for your main character). It’s also not really good for gold making. So at this point you are probably wondering what is it good for! You can get a really neat assortment of pets, mounts, toys, and even some epic and rare weapons and armor that are bind on account. So there is a lot of neat stuff you can actually get from Archaeology. It’s also pretty easy to level up as you’ll see in this guide.

Archaeology isn’t a gold making type of profession, if you were hoping to make some gold off of it I suggest you look at this Gold Guide instead.

Dig Sites

Once you train up your Archaeology skill at a trainer you will then be able to see dig sites on your map (your big map, not your mini map). These dig sites look like little shovels on your big map and once you get into a zone with them in it they will look like a red circled area on your map.

There are 4 dig sites per continent and the only way to get different dig sites is by digging one out. This means that you can’t just wait or logout and expect to see a different site, you actually have to do something with the ones you have.

Now just because there are 4 dig sites per continent that doesn’t mean that when you start out you’ll see them all, they scale to your level so that, for example, a level 30 character won’t see ones in Outland and Northrend.

Also, one final note on dig sites, they are non-competitive, only you will have the nodes you see in them and you won’t have to worry about someone else finding them first.

Surveying for Fragments

When you train your Archaeology you will get a Survey skill. This skill can only be used when you are in a dig site. Once you click your Survey skill a survey tool will spawn and point you to the direction of a fragment. The survey tool will also light up either red (you are far away), yellow (you are closer), or green (you are very close) to tell you how close you are to a fragment.

Now Fragments are what you will be collecting in order to start and complete a Research Project, which is what you will complete to get a reward for all of this hard work surveying!


Artifacts are what you will be making out of all the Fragments you are collecting. You will need from as little as about 25 to as many as 150 Fragments to create and Artifact (it depends on what Artifact you are doing). Once you have all the ones you need you click the Solve button to complete the Artifact.

There are also, in addition to the Fragments you loot, items like Troll Tablets and Highborne Scrolls that you will loot alongside Fragments that you can use to complete some Artifacts. Just be aware of these, and know that they won’t work for all of the Artifacts.

Leveling Archaeology 1-525

1-50 Survey Dig Sites and Save all Fragments
50-525 Begin Solving Artifacts with all the Fragments you Saved and Continue to Survey Dig Sites and Solve Artifacts

So as I said before, it’s a really simple method to get to 525.

If you have any suggestions for this guide please email me at: thebusdriver @

IMPORTANT: If you're looking to make a lot of gold, you can make thousands easily by reading my favorite gold guide.