Mojang has just announced that the long-awaited and much-delayed archeology feature is finally coming to Minecraft. A new tool, type of sand, and several different types of items to unearth are all coming in the Minecraft 1.20 (opens in new tab) update this year.
If you'd been paying close attention to the Minecraft rumor mill, this will likely confirm some of your suspicions started by hints from developers (opens in new tab). Mojang originally announced the archeology feature in 2020 and then postponed it for several major update versions. It's back at last though, as Mojang has confirmed today in an announcement post (opens in new tab).
"With this feature, players will find a new type of sand—suspicious sand—near desert temples," Mojang says. "Using a newly introduced tool, the brush, players can brush away the suspicious sand blocks to reveal hidden tools, bones, sniffer eggs, and pottery shards. The new pottery shards contain partial patterns, and four shards can be put together to make a pot with patterns telling a unique story."
Combining pottery shards into ancient pots seems particularly neat. I'm all about getting some new décor items for my base that actually show a journey I've been on. Turns out archeology is a nice fit alongside the Sniffer also coming in update 1.20 after being picked by players in the 2022 mob vote. We already knew they were ancient creatures being brought back to life Jurassic Park style, and digging those eggs up with the new brushes sure seems to combine tidily.
Mojang says that these features will be arriving in snapshot builds and Bedrock version betas "very soon."
Mojang has intentionally kept the feature list of the 1.20 update pretty wrapped up, saying last year that it had learned from its mistakes (opens in new tab) of announcing features too early. This time around the developers are planning to tell us bits and pieces at a time as we lead up to the new version launch date. "We’re going to be revealing the remaining features for Minecraft 1.20, so keep your eyes on Minecraft.net and our social channels," Mojang says.