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Archaeology icon Cataclysm Archaeology (Profession)
For the quest object in Arathi Highlands, see Keystone (Arathi Highlands). For the item used to begin a Mythic+ dungeon, see  [Mythic Keystone].

Keystones are objects found when digging for archaeology artifact fragments using the archaeology profession. The keystones are specific to racial artifacts (i.e. there are dwarven keystones, night elven keystones, and so on) and add 12 fragments to some archaeology projects, though not every project will allow the player to use a keystone.

When a player can use a keystone to complete a project, a hexagonal socket will appear at the bottom left of the project window. If the player has a keystone in his or her inventory, the player may then left-click the socket and the keystone will be placed in it (though it will not be consumed until the player solves the artifact). The keystones may be used exactly like 12 fragments, meaning that if a keystone gives more fragments than necessary to complete an artifact, the extra fragments will roll over to the next artifact project. If a player changes their mind about using a keystone before solving the project, they can left-click the socket again to remove the keystone.

Common artifacts that permit keystones only allow the use of one or two. Rare-quality artifact projects may permit the use of up to three keystones. There are no keystones available for use with Fossil projects.

Keystone types

There are several known kinds of keystones, each matching a race.

Keystones by project type
Project Keystone
Arakkoa Warlords of Draenor  [Arakkoa Cipher]
Demonic Legion  [Mark of the Deceiver]
Draenei  [Draenei Tome]
Draenor Clan Warlords of Draenor  [Draenor Clan Orator Cane]
Drust Battle for Azeroth  [Etched Drust Bone]
Dwarf  [Dwarf Rune Stone]
Highborne Legion  [Ancient Suramar Scroll]
Highmountain Tauren Legion  [Highmountain Ritual-Stone]
Mantid Mists of Pandaria  [Mantid Amber Sliver]
Mogu Mists of Pandaria  [Mogu Statue Piece]
Nerubian Wrath-Logo-Small.png  [Nerubian Obelisk]
Night Elf  [Highborne Scroll]
Ogre Warlords of Draenor  [Ogre Missive]
Orc  [Orc Blood Text]
Pandaren Mists of Pandaria  [Pandaren Pottery Shard]
Tol'vir Cataclysm  [Tol'vir Hieroglyphic]
Troll  [Troll Tablet]
Vrykul Wrath-Logo-Small.png  [Vrykul Rune Stick]
Zandalari Battle for Azeroth  [Zandalari Idol]

Keystone dungeon buffs

Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

Some keystones can be used near the entrance of Cataclysm dungeons to grant a group-wide buff for the duration of the run.

Archaeological Dungeon Monuments
Dungeon Keystone Monument Buff
Throne of Tides  [Highborne Scroll] Strange Fountain 10% bonus damage against the naga
Blackrock Caverns  [Dwarf Rune Stone] Stone Tablet Reduces elemental damage done to you by 5%
The Stonecore  [Dwarf Rune Stone] Broken Pillar Physical damage taken is reduced by 5%
Vortex Pinnacle  [Tol'vir Hieroglyphic] Magical Brazier Heals wounds and replenishes mana slowly over time
Lost City of the Tol'vir  [Tol'vir Hieroglyphic] Tol'vir Grave 10% bonus damage against the Neferset
Halls of Origination  [Tol'vir Hieroglyphic] Large Stone Obelisk Improves movement speed
Grim Batol  [Dwarf Rune Stone] Dwarven Bone Pile Critical chance increased by 5%
Zul'Aman  [Troll Tablet] Voodoo Pile Chance on dealing damage or healing to summon an Amani Bear Cub to assist in combat
Zul'Gurub  [Troll Tablet] Voodoo Pile Chance on dealing damage or healing to summon a Young Gurubashi Raptor to assist in combat


Patch changes

  • Cataclysm Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26): The Bountiful Bags guild perk should no longer sometimes incorrectly reward Archaeologists with multiple keystones from dig sites.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Added.

See also