Antiquity Sites are special tile features introduced as part of the archaeological system in Civilization V: Brave New World. Unlike other tile features, which are native to the land, Antiquity Sites only appear after the discovery of the tech Archaeology and are related to past events in the game.
When an Archaeologist arrives at an Antiquity Site, he can excavate it to create a temporary tile improvement called an Archaeological Dig. The improvement is worked by the Archaeologist for three turns (in addition to a number of turns necessary to remove forest, jungle, or marsh on the tile). Note that the unit may stop working on the dig at any time, and another Archaeologist - even one from another civilization - may finish it.
Upon completion, the Archaeologist who finished the dig is consumed and his civilization is given a choice of the following:
- Extract an Artifact from the site. The Artifact may be from a nearby civilization, City-State, or Barbarian tribe.
- Convert the site into a permanent Landmark improvement.
There are also Hidden Antiquity Sites, which are only available to civs that have adopted all of the policies in the Exploration policy tree. They have a 30% chance to have the following options instead:
- Extract a Great Work of Writing.
- Start a Cultural Renaissance, which gives a large one-time boost of Culture, equal to a Great Writer's Political Treatise.
Francis Bacon wrote in 1605 that "antiquities are history defaced, or some remnants of history which have casually escaped the shipwreck of time." By definition, antiquities are objects from the past, ranging from simple arrowheads to artistic treasures. The sense that a lost civilization could be uncovered by a systematic study of its relics and artifacts has driven amateur collectors and eminent scholars for generations to seek these out, dig these up, and preserve these in homes, universities and museums. This passion for collecting the leavings of the human past eventually gave rise to a new scholarly discipline - the field of archaeology.