The first thing you need to do is go to a trainer to and learn Archaeology.Locations:
Harrison Jones located in Stormwind at 85,25.
Doktor Professor Ironpants located in Ironforge at 75,9.
Hammon the Jaded located in Darnassus at 43,83.
Diya located in The Exodar at 32,63.
Gerdra Fardelve located in Honor Hold, Hellfire Peninsula at 53,65.
Falda Fardelve located in Valiance Keep, Borean Tundra at 57,71.
Belloc Brightblade located in Orgirmmar at 49,70.
Adam Hossack located in Undercity at 76,36.
Otoh Greyhide located in Thunder Bluff at 75,28 Elder Rise.
Elynara located in Silvermoon City at 81,63.
Sirabel located in Thrallmar, Hellfire Peninsula at 52,36.
Lindarel located in Warsong Hold, Borean Tundra at 41,53.
Ian Thomas Wall located in Vengence Landing, Howling Fjord at 79,29
Dariness the Learned located in Dalaran at 48,39
Boduro the Seeker located in Shattrath City at 62,70
Archaeology Skill Required Level Required Skill Cost Apprentice 20 N/A 10 Journeyman 20 50 10 Expert 20 125 10 Artisan 35 200 2 50 Master 50 275 10 Grand Master 65 350 15 Illustrious Grand Master 75 425 25
After you get your training, the first thing you want to do is look at your world map. Areas where you can conduct surveys will be marked on your world map with a shovel (See picture below). When you find a zone with a shovel on it, travel to it. When you enter the zone, look at your map and you'll see areas marked in orange (See picture below). These are the areas where you can conduct surveys. So pick one and head to it.
When you enter the survey zone, use your survey tool. It's located in your spellbook, and I suggest you put it on your action bar. You'll be using it a lot. When you use your survey tool, a little survey kit will pop out. This kit will give you vital information in locating artifacts. Firstly, the telescope will always point in the direction you need to go. Secondly, the light that appears on the survey kit will tell you the distance. There are three lights: red, yellow, green. Look at the list below to see what each one means.Survey Kit Lights:
Red: Over 100 yards away.
Yellow: 50 to 100 yards away.
Green: 50 yards away.
When you have successfully found a fragment, it will appear, and you can click on it to loot it.
In order to solve an artifact you need to collect between 25 to 100 fragments. These fragments do not take up bag space. The amount you need to collect seems to be random with each artifact. To see how many you need, click the Archaeology skill button. Then select the race icon that is highlighted. Keep in mind that several race icons can be highlighted at one time, since you may be carrying fragments from different races. You just need to click on the one you are working on at that moment.
Once you have collected the required amount of fragments, you can solve an artifact. All you have to do is click the solve button on the Archaeology screen (See image below.) The artifact will then appear in your bag. Save it. Any excess fragments you have will be applied to your next project.
The types of fragments you find is dependent on your level in Archaeology and the region that your are surveying.
Dwarf, Fossil, and Troll: Found in Eastern Kingdoms
Night Elf: Found in Kalimdor
Draenei and Orc: Found in Outland
Nerubian and Vrykul: Northrend
Tol'vir: Found in Cataclysm zones
Occasionally, you will find keystones that are for specific types of artifacts. These keystones may be inserted into teh keystone slot in the Archaeology screen and count for 12 fragments. These keystones have level requirements that are tied to the zone you find them in.
Types of Keystone: Troll Tablet, Highborne Scroll (Night Elf), Dwarf Rune Stone, Orc Blood Text, Draenei Tome, Nerubian Obelisk, Vrykul Rune Stick, Tol'vir Hieroglyphic
As you level up will be able to go to more survey sites.
Below is a video of me doing some surveying in Arathi Highlands. You can get an idea of how it works.
There are a few benefits to Archaeology. Its still new, so only a few are known. Examples of items that are known are a pet, a mount, and weapons. Also archaeologist can give group and raid buffs.That's about all I have right now. I'll post more information here as it is known.