I'm probably missing something obvious, but without having to open up my world map and click through every zoomed-in zone map, is there any way to narrow down where dig sites will be? For clarification, I'm talking about the big, red, general "survey around here" splotches.

  • Are they always in the same places?
  • Do they spawn in every possible location, or is it like other gathering professions where there are a list of possibilities and a sub-list of current "active" places?
  • Are there dig sites in all zones, or at least a majority of them?
  • Can I always trust clicking through the zones to find the next dig site I should visit, or are there some that don't appear until I'm closer?

1 Answer 1


There is a finite list of Archaeology digsites. Your 4 active digsites per continent will always be drawn from that list. A comprehensive listing of them can be found here. Not all zones have digsites, but most do.

You should be able to see your active digsites while looking at the continent map. They'll be marked with a small shovel icon: Shovels!

While the shovels are not perfectly precise, they're close enough, and once you get nearby, you can look at the zone map to see the exact boundaries of a dig site in question.

  • Ah, nice complete answer, thanks. For others' reference, the shovels can be very hard to see on the non-maximized world map.
    – wersimmon
    Feb 18, 2011 at 19:31
  • -1 for non-freehand circles.
    – Brant
    Feb 18, 2011 at 20:40
  • @echo: to be pedantic, you can't see shovels on the world map, only continent maps.
    – Nick T
    Feb 19, 2011 at 0:19
  • @nick: But since you will always have 4 digsites per continent on every continent (for which you have sufficient skill, 300 required for Outland, 375 for Northrend), that point is slightly moot. Feb 19, 2011 at 0:22
  • Is it--can you see the shovels on the standard Blizzard map? I use a map mod so it might be hiding them.
    – Nick T
    Feb 19, 2011 at 0:27

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