How Minecraft Archeology works - Release date, features, and uses

The new pottery and brush items coming in the Minecraft Archaeology update
Credit: Minecraft

The new pottery and brush items coming in the Minecraft Archaeology update
Credit: Minecraft

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Can't wait to get stuck in with Minecraft Archeology? You'll want to know how Minecraft Archeology works before you get started. Knowing its features and uses wouldn't hurt, either. It's one of the newest gameplay features coming in the 1.20 update, and it's set to give the desert biome the love it hasn't seen since it was released in 2010.

Archeology adds reason to Desert Temples that house valuable loot. And not only will the desert biome be home to new archaeological features, but also new building blocks, items and mobs. The new archaeology feature will also be supported through future updates, with more dig sites being announced later on. Your career of discovery doesn't begin and end with this one patch.

For more news on what to expect in the Minecraft 1.20 patch, we have an article about it right there. We also have the best Minecraft shaders for 2023, and the best Minecraft texture packs for 2023, too, so check those out if you're looking forward to the future.

Minecraft Archeology - How it works

In order to make the most out of the new Minecraft Archeology features, you’ll first need to find the new Suspicious Sand blocks. These are a new building block from the 1.20 update that can only be found in certain places in the desert biome.

At the time of writing, Suspicious Sand can only be found:

  • Near a Desert Temple or Pyramid.
  • Inside a Desert Well.

Once you’ve found the Suspicious Sand, you’ll need to get out your handy archaeological brush. Luckily, the recipe for this is quite simple; you just need a stick, feather, and copper ingot. Easy.

Four different patterns you can find for the pots in the Minecraft Archaeology update. There is a man with his hands up, a bow and arrow, a skull head and a diamond.
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Credit: Minecraft
The different patterns you can find for the pots!

This brush will help you excavate the sand, revealing the object hidden underneath. It’s likely to be a piece of pottery, but it could be any item from the tables below.

Desert Pyramid’s Suspicious Sand:

  • Archer Pottery Shard
  • Diamond Pottery Shard
  • Skeleton Pottery Shard
  • Gunpowder
  • TNT
  • Diamond
  • Emerald

Desert Well’s Suspicious Sand:

  • Arms Up Pottery Shard
  • Brick
  • Stick
  • Suspicious Stew
  • Emerald

Once you’ve collected four pottery shards, you’ll be able to combine them together in the crafting table to make a pot. Each of the sides will be reflected by the designs you’ve managed to find so far, so you can mix and match to decide exactly how you want each pot to look.

There have also been hints that you’ll be able to use the new mob, the Sniffer, to help you dig in the sands. However, the Sniffer may uncover rare items more suited to its own needs rather than your own if you do decide to use it.

For a little bit more Minecraft, read up on how to make hanging signs. Paired with the new pots, you'll have lots of new ways to customise your creations.

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