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Minecraft Archaeology

Posted: Mar 16, 2023 in Minecraft

mc head By Nathan Young


Many Minecraft players over the years have questioned the world’s history they find themselves in, as there are abandoned structures everywhere. Were these buildings left by Steve’s ancestors or primitive villagers? The answer to this mystery was left untouched and ignored for a long time, until now. Minecraft’s 1.20 update introduces archaeology to the scene, leading players on a new journey to uncover the secrets scattered around the world. Whether you’re finding old emeralds buried in suspicious ඞ sand or piecing together ancient artifacts, there’s many unique features to try out. Let’s begin to break down archaeology in Minecraft!

What is Archaeology?

Minecraft Archaeology

Similarly to archaeology in real life, Minecraft’s take on it involves finding specific areas in the desert to begin an excavation. This provides players with an activity to dig up diamonds, emeralds, artifacts, and other items. These rewards depend on where you excavate, giving more realism to this new archaeology update. Be careful though! Players must use a Brush tool to collect the items from their digging site. Without this, it’ll return absolutely nothing. With this in mind, check out the sections below to learn more about excavations.

Digging Around

Minecraft Desert Temple
Desert Temple Excavation

Before digging around for ancient artifacts, players will need to find Desert Temples or Wells. These structures are common, but may take some time to locate. Once found, grab a shovel and start mining Sand inside the pyramid or around the water well. This begins the excavation process, allowing you to find the necessary blocks to obtain artifacts. Just make sure to avoid endlessly breaking sand in the desert, as this wouldn’t return any benefits.

Suspicious Sand

Minecraft Suspicious Sand

After digging around for some time, you’ll notice that some sand blocks look different than others. This is known as Suspicious Sand, which is among us after mining away. Be cautious! This will instantly break if it falls and give players no items afterward. It’s best to break all surrounding sand to avoid removing the sus blocks. You’ll need to have the brush tool to begin uncovering its rewards. Although, it’s worth mentioning that if you forcibly spawn suspicious sand through creative mode or commands, you can’t get rewards.


Finding Artifacts

Once you’ve obtained a Brush, right-click suspicious sand to start collecting artifacts. Remember, there are other items to possibly get depending on where you found this block. Most of the time, players will find around 4 to 6 sus sand that’ll provide at least one ancient artifact. This process will be grindy, as you’ll want to collect as many of them as you can. Unfortunately, enchantments like Fortune cannot be applied on the brush. If this was the case, you’d get more rewards from each block.

Minecraft Finding Artifacts


Building the Story

Minecraft Artifacts

There are four different types of artifacts to collect and craft with: Archer, Prize, Skull, and Arms Up. Players lucky enough to obtain all of these, can create decorative pottery to begin unraveling a unique story. You’ll decide what history these artifacts tell, so get a little creative! Otherwise, place them down in your desert base or museum for the ultimate ancient decoration. Going through this journey is best with friends, so consider creating an Experimental 1.20 Server. This’ll allow you and others to leap into the archaeology of Minecraft!


There you have it, players can now become archaeologists and uncover a rich history of Minecraft. Features for this and possibly others may change when Mojang officially releases the 1.20 update. Regardless of this, the core concept of brushing off suspicious sand will stick forever. If you’re not too interested in the story of the artifacts, then use them as decorative pieces in your favorite base. Some players may even recognize them from Minecraft Dungeons, which could be a hint into the game’s history. Either way, we hope this blog helped you learn a little bit more about archaeology in Minecraft. Have a good one, gamers!

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