I think in one of the videos they showed them being dug up from either razed cities or old city ruin sites, but I haven't seen a concrete explanation. How exactly do I acquire artifacts to fill my museums et al?

2 Answers 2


Artifacts are gained by using Archaeologists. The Archaeologist unit is unlocked by the Archaeology technology in the Industrial Era, and also can only be built in cities that have built a University.

Once you have the Archaeology technology, even before you make an Archaeologist, you will be able to see basic antiquity sites. Move an archaeologist to one, and they will be able to work the tile as workers do other tiles. This takes a handful of turns (depending on game speed), and when they are done you will have the option to gain an Artifact, or to create a Landmark improvement on the tile.

If you see an antiquity site in another civilization's territory, you can still work it, but doing so will potentially anger the other civilization, in much the same way as converting their cities does when they have their own religion.

Lastly, if there are several other civilizations working archaeology sites, you can try getting the Exploration Social Policy Tree. Having all policies in the tree unlocks hidden antiquity sites, which function exactly the same as regular antiquity sites, but cannot be seen nor worked by civilizations without the full Exploration tree, which means there may be less competition.

  • Can antiquity sites appear in uncivilized territory? Jul 14, 2013 at 6:11
  • Yes, and they often will. They appear in a manner similar to resources, scattered all across the map, though with the distinction that they disappear once excavated. In fact, antiquity sites in an un-owned area that has seen heavy barbarian activity may even give a Barbarian Artifact, rather than one associated with an actual civilization. Jul 14, 2013 at 6:18
  • For those that appear in civilized territory, will they be blocked by tile improvements? I often improve unworkable tiles in anticipation of placing a nearby city; am I decreasing my chances of dig sites? Jul 14, 2013 at 6:59
  • I just completed Archaeology, and several Antiquity Sites appeared in my territory on tiles with other improvements. I assume building a dig site won't remove the improvement but will update my comment if it does. Jul 14, 2013 at 7:18
  • If you go for the Artifact option, no, the old improvement is fine. If you choose the Landmark option (which I glossed over, as it's mostly irrelevant to the question asked here), then the existing improvement is replaced. Jul 14, 2013 at 7:28

Once you discover Archaeology, a new type of Bonus Resource will appear on the map -- Antiquity Sites!

If you build an Archaeologist (also unlocked with Archaeology) and move them to an antiquity site, they can perform an archaeological dig that will give you your choice of an Artifact or to create a landmark on the site.

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