Minecraft's archeology feature is finally getting dug up for 1.20

Minecraft - a desert villager stands behind an earthen clay pot with a pattern on it
(Image credit: Mojang)

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 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. 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.

"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 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.


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Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.