I love history, so when Shane asked me to write an article about Archaeology, I was very excited about this! Let’s dig in!
Archaeology is the newest skill to enter the game. It is not an elite skill, but does have content going up to level 120. Archaeology works differently than most skills. You have to dig up the artifacts to discover them yourself for the best experience. You get to visit a lot of new areas, and learn a lot about the lore and the secrets of Gielinor’s past.
I’m not here to explain too much detail about the mechanics of the skill as many of you will already have 99 or 120. I actually wanted to take an entirely different approach to the skill. I wanted to know, if we suddenly vanished and new players set off to discover who we were, what would we leave behind as artifacts? What would they learn? Would they see items of significance to us, as valuable to their understanding of who we are, or junk?
In order to answer these questions, I wanted to revisit a couple key places from my adventures as I work on my own 200m experience journey.
I want to look at the Patera Bowl. The official description reads: “Evidence suggests these bowls were primarily used for cleaning activities such as the washing of hands and wings. Residues suggest the water within them was scented with flower petals.” This is not a lot of information to go on, but it suggests uses like possibly ceremonial cleansing, or ritualist bathing. Could there be more to discover? Only through continued digging and discovering other artifacts can we learn more.
What I love the most about Archaeology is that we can get a lot of information, but we will always have questions that remain unanswered. How many scrap items are ignored in Archaeology as daily use items by past inhabitants, children’s playthings, or just hobbies? It’s so easy to want significance, but can we only learn about their culture as a whole? It would be amazing to discover more specific individuals for sure.
So, going back to my questions: If we suddenly vanished and new players set off to discover who we were, what would we leave behind as artifacts? If the player found my house and ransacked it, they would find that I worshipped Saradomin, collected lots of treasure, and was an active participant in events all over the Runescape community. The remains of my aquarium and menagerie would show my love for animals. What they may never know, is the first room I ever built was my study, and through the telescope and shooting star D&D I met the love of my life. They will never know how many supplies I used to build the thousands of oak dungeon doors that gave me complete happiness as I trained my favorite skill. They would never know about the parties I hosted, because our houses just cannot be personalized in such a way.
Perhaps, they might discover my clan’s citadel. It’s nothing much, just a t3, but our statues, again, show allegiance to Saradomin. An old Clan Vexillum will highlight the blue and orange colors, and a shooting star and a saw, furthering a mysterious love of construction. As a Portmaster, the player would find so much wealth in resources and upgrades. My kingdom in Miscellania is filled with happy workers and the coffers are full there.
Legacy is important to me, and the Archaeology skill is all about that. It’s the discovery of what was, and who were we? And with this being the 20th anniversary year for our beloved Runescape, there isn’t a better time to reflect. Searches of my character bring up hiscores, skilling achievements, and things outside the game that reflect who and what I am as a player. My ultimate hope though, is that if players in the future were to uncover my player’s history, they would find someone who had a passion for helping others, enjoyed adventuring outside the box, and really, really, loved skilling.
As I raid the Xolo Mines in Orthen, in search of yet another torn up recipe fragment, I wonder if maybe the recipes were destroyed for a reason. Perhaps there were nasty side effects, or greed from their gains overtook their leaders, leading to their demise. They clearly had all the gold they could want, so let’s hope we don’t fall prey to whatever overtook them in our discoveries.
I hope this article leaves you a lot to think about as you enjoy the Archeology skill with me.