Antiquities in ESO were introduced with the Greymoor chapter that released in May 2020. This system allows you to find leads throughout the world of Tamriel and then use those leads to find special items. These items can range from household furnishings to valuable treasures and pieces of gear to make you more powerful. To help you find these items, antiquities introduces two new skill lines, Scrying and Excavation, that will require 30 skill points to completely unlock. For the basics of this new system you can check out the video on the right from Brah We Got This and read on below.


To get started with the antiquities system you will need to go to Solitude in Western Skyrim and speak to Verita Numida in the Antiquarian Circle. She will give you a mission to learn about Scrying and Excavating using the Antiquarian Eye as a tool. You will not have to go very far for this mission as the item is just outside the building in a garden. Once you have completed the mission you will unlock the ability to scry for leads anywhere in Tamriel, but you will need to level your Scrying skill line to look for leads above the blue level.

Verita Numida


After you have completed the tutorial, you will be able to scry green and blue leads anywhere in Tamriel. You can see what leads you have available for scrying by opening your journal and clicking on the antiquarian eye symbol. Once here you can select “Scryable” to see what leads are available to scry in the zone you are currently in. You will also see a list of every zone in the game, and clicking on these zones will allow you to see what leads you have for that area. The “Codex” lists how many leads you have found and how many are available in that zone for that item, Under the name of the item you will also see how many you have found. As an example, in the image on the right you can see that for the “Tormentor’s Roller”, 0/3 leads have been discovered and 0 have been found. For the “Daedric Pillar of Torment”, 1/3 leads have been discovered and 1 has been found.

Journal - Antiquity Leads

Each zone has a green lead to get you started in that area, and when you find the green lead you will receive a blue lead that you can find as well. That blue lead will give you a purple lead that you will be able to scry as soon as you level up scrying. The starter green leads will always give you a blue lead as long as you have found the previous blue lead, but you will only get 1 purple lead total from the blue leads. So, as an example, you scry the starter green lead and you get a blue lead from that. Next, you go and get the blue lead and you get a purple lead when you find that one. Once you find that purple lead, you start over by getting the next green lead, and find a second blue lead. That second blue lead will get you an item, but no further purple leads.

One way to grind out levels using this system is to go to a small zone, such as Khenarthi’s Roost, and rotate between green and blue leads until you max out scrying and excavation. Doing it this way will net you a lot of gold from selling items as well as level your skill lines, but is a very long and boring way to go about it. Another way to level is to just visit each zone and scry until you have 3/3 green and blue leads and 1/1 purple leads then move on to the next zone. This can take a little longer if you do not have wayshrines in each zone, but is a more exciting way to see the map and feel like an adventurer looking for treasure!


When you first start scrying it can seem a little confusing and over complicated, but with time and tools you unlock along the way it becomes very easy to do. To start scrying an item, click on “Scryable” in the menu mentioned above and select a lead to scry. Upon doing this you will be greeted with the Antiquarian Eye interface on the right. The 6 empty hexagons with the glowing outlines are “Dig Sites” (officially called foci) and you want to connect all of these in the fewest possible moves. You can accomplish this by selecting the hexagons that have the same icon inside them (called facets).

When you have a group of like facets together you will see the group highlight as shown on the right. Clicking on this group will lock them in and use a portion of the bar at the bottom of the eye next to the arrow in the image. This bar indicates the moves you have left to connect all the foci. On lower level leads, you will have more moves available to accomplish this and you will unlock tools that help out substantially as you level up. If you aren’t able to connect all of them before the moves run out you will still be able to find the item, you will just have to visit more sites to do so.

To help you connect the foci, you can unlock tools as you level the scrying skill:

  • Coalescence will make all of the facets in a given area match based on the facet at the center of your selection. See Figure 1 below for a visual of this. You will need to level it up to increase the size of the affected area.
  • Dilation will highlight all the facets of the same type that are touching the facets you have already locked. This effect is shown in Figure 2 below.
  • Farsight will allow you to claim all the facets in a row regardless of the symbol inside them. This affect is shown in Figure 3 below.

These tools do not use up your moves but instead use charges. When you first begin scrying you will not have any charges or tools available, but as you level the skill you unlock tools and up to 3 charges to be used. Claiming foci replenishes the charges at the rate of 1/2 charge per foci. So if you use a charge for a tool you will need to claim 2 foci to get that charge back.


Once you have completed scrying with the antiquarian eye a map will pop up with all the possible sites where the antiquity could be. If you captured all the foci you will only see 1 dig site, but if you missed any you will have up to 6 potential dig sites. You can go back in and scry the item again to try and narrow down the sites or you can go to each one and try your luck to see if that is the correct site. If it is not the correct site you will get a random low level treasure item when you attempt to dig up the antiquity. Go to the area highlighted on the map to begin searching for the dig site.

Excavation sites

Once you arrive in the area you will want to use the antiquarian eye to help you find the dig site. You can do this by opening your quick slot menu and adding the antiquarian eye from the “Tools” section onto the quick slot wheel. Then just select the eye from the wheel and use as you would any other quick slot item.

Antiquarian Eye

Upon using the antiquarian eye inside the potential dig site zone you will see a blue ball of light pop up and point the way to the dig site. You can only use the eye once every 30 seconds, so go in a straight line following the direction the tail is pointing until you find the dig site or are able to use the eye again. Once you find the dig site, select it to begin the excavation mini-game.

The excavation mini game allows you to dig up the antiquity using a variety of tools that you will unlock as you level. To begin with you will have the antiquarian eye and a brush, but as you progress you will unlock the trowel and large shovel to help you remove more dirt at a time. Beginner dig sites will usually be shallower and have no obstacles in the way, and higher level sites will introduce gas pockets and deeper levels of dirt to be removed. Gas pockets can be mitigated using the trowel at higher levels, but they can also blow up the antiquity if you are not careful. The bar at the very top tells you how much time you have left to dig up the item, with each click taking some time off.

The red bar below the time bar indicates the health of the antiquity. The higher level items have only a single point of health and the lower level items have up to 4 points. You can damage the antiquity by using the shovels to dig too many layers of dirt at once on top of it or by hitting the gas pockets in the dig site. Once you level the trowel, you will be able to use it to safely remove these gas pockets and even use some of them to remove all the dirt between two gas pockets.

Excavation mini game

To begin the excavation use the antiquarian eye to locate the antiquity. Do this by selecting the eye and clicking anywhere in the dig site. There are 4 possible colors that can come up when you click, helping to narrow down how close you are. Red means you are not close to the antiquity at all, orange means you are in the general area, yellow means you are close and green means you are directly over the antiquity. There will be a white outline surrounding the square after you click it, indicating the boundary of the search area.

If the square is red or orange you need to go outside the boundary to find the item, if it is yellow you will find the item inside the boundary. So even if you don’t get a green box you can narrow down the most likely location based on the areas overlapping the yellow boxes. If for some reason you are unable to excavate the antiquity, like if it gets destroyed or you run out of time, a new dig site will be created in the same area you found the previous site and you will have to start over with excavation.

Once you have determined the location of the antiquity you will need to begin digging. At lower levels you will only have the brush unlocked. This tool will clear a single layer of dirt in one square. Select the tool and click on each square over the antiquity until you have exposed the entire item. Once you have uncovered the antiquity you will be able to use any additional time to uncover bonus items. These bonus items will range from gold to treasures you can sell to merchants. Lower level sites will have 1 bonus item and you can get as many as 3 bonus items in the higher level sites.

As you level the excavation skill line you will unlock the trowel and the shovel. These tools require you to build up intuition, seen in the images below as the blue bar between them. Intuition is earned by using the brush and you gain half a bar of intuition for each use of the brush. You will get 1 bar of intuition to fill up when you unlock the trowel, and leveling the skill will get you a total of 2 bars. The more intuition you have, the more dirt that is cleared away with each click. At max level you have a chance to use the trowel or shovel without consuming intuition, meaning you can use it 2 or more times in a row to clear massive amounts of dirt. As shown in the images below, these tools have some very specific purposes to help you during excavation. The trowel can be used, once leveled enough, to blow up gas deposits and remove all of the dirt between two deposits. The shovel will remove all dirt in a square area equal to the level of the dirt in the middle of the square. In the example you can see that the lower part of the square is highlighted and the top most portion is not. The highlighted parts will be removed and anything else will be untouched. You can use this to your advantage to clear a lot of dirt from a specific area without harming the antiquity.

Once you have determined the location of the antiquity you will need to begin digging. At lower levels you will only have the brush unlocked. This tool will clear a single layer of dirt in one square. Select the tool and click on each square over the antiquity until you have exposed the entire item. Once you have uncovered the antiquity you will be able to use any additional time to uncover bonus items. These bonus items will range from gold to treasures you can sell to merchants. Lower level sites will have 1 bonus item and you can get as many as 3 bonus items in the higher level sites.






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