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In my game, my archaeologist got near a barbarian caravel and disappeared. At the same time, one archaeologist appeared in the original city. So am I getting it right that archaeologists immediately return to the original city after being attacked by barbarians?

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    Hi, welcome to Arqade. We don't typically allow two questions in one - it would be better to ask your second question as a separate post.
    – Corsaka
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 9:22
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    As a potential answer to the first one, though - note that I haven't played Civ 6 - did you accidentally build more than one archeologist? Since only one can exist at a time, it's plausible you had one queued in the city and the moment your archaeologist was captured/killed by the barbarians, a new one spawned in.
    – Corsaka
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 9:24

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No, archaeologists cannot be killed. If stepped on by an enemy unit, they get teleported to their home city. In that regard, the behave much like great people in that the only way to get rid of them is to use up their charges.

To protect your archaeologists, accompany them with a military unit, preferably a fast combat unit such as light or heavy cavalry.

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