WoW's 3rd expansion will add Archaeology as a new secondary profession. Few details yet, but it will allow you to, "unearth valuable artifacts and earn unique rewards."
You will be able to explore ruins around Azeroth and recover "notes" or artefacts that have been exposed by the cataclysm. Gather several similar notes in your journal (pictured below), and then decipher these in a "minigame" or quest (undecided). This will gives different rewards - vanity pets, instant travel to dungeon, titles, recipes for other professions.
Artifacts can be given to a cult, to gain a glyph that fits your Ancient Glyph slot. These glyphs are not part of Inscription. They are part of the Path of the Titans, a new customisation/progression system. Gaining all these ancient glyphs is "gated, not grindy".
Below is a mock-up of the archaeology journal:
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