WOW Archaeology: an actual profession in World of Warcraft

I’ve never played World of Warcraft, but with the movie coming out soon (and staring an actor I like), I found myself looking at Google links, one of which mentioned the archaeologist profession. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed such a prestigious game (even though I’ve not played it, I’ve definitely heard of WoW) having an archaeologist.

ThereĀ are other games that feature archaeologists: Tomb Raider, Temple Run, etc. But this is a Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing game (MMORP) with a multitude of “professions” ranging from wizard to–now–archaeologist.

So, my first thoughts were, “what is dug and where? And how does this fit with the game?” I’m not a huge gamer, but i’m familiar with the MMORP concept so my curiosity was genuine.

The instruction screen captured during gameplay. Courtesy of WoWPedia.

WoWPedia, the wiki for WoW, describes Archaeology as a secondary profession released with World of Warcraft: cataclysm, an expansion pack for the game. You can learn archaeology once you reach level 20. The “focus is on locating, piecing together, and appraising artifacts unearthed by the Cataclysm.”

The dig sites can be found on all four continents and there are four dig sites on each at any one time, but available based on player skill. Players can dig and collect six finds before the dig site “dries up and a new one is made available.”

I like that archaeology is considered interesting enough to be part of a game like WoW. Public awareness of what archaeology is, how it works, and why it’s important is a good thing. I’m not sure WoW is conveying all or even some of that message, but it could be just the thing to make someone start asking the right questions to the right people; or reading about archaeology in the right places.

About Carl Feagans 398 Articles
Professional archaeologist that currently works for the United States Forest Service at the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee. I'm also a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army and spent another 10 years doing adventure programming with at-risk teens before earning my master's degree at the University of Texas at Arlington.

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