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Efe Excavating.jpg

Archaeology is a gameplay mechanic that allows the player to find items that represent historical artifacts inside suspicious sand and gravel blocks.[1][2] This mechanic was originally intended to be part of the Caves & Cliffs update, but was delayed three times until finally being released as part of the Trails & Tales update.[3]


Players can use a brush on suspicious sand (located in warm ocean ruins, desert pyramids, and desert wells) or suspicious gravel (located in cold ocean ruins and trail ruins). Players can discover and obtain artifacts and other loot, such as sticks, emeralds and pottery sherds, which can be used to craft decorated pots. If a suspicious block falls or is broken, the loot inside is lost.



Invicon Decorated Pot.png: Sprite image for Decorated Pot in Minecraft linking to Decorated PotDecorated Pot
  • Can be crafted with any 4 pottery sherds or brick items, placed in a rhombus shape.
    • The specific type of crafting material used determines which side of the resulting decorated pot shows a symbol.
      • The possible symbols are determined by the type of pottery sherd used to craft the pot.
      • Sides of the pot corresponding to bricks when crafted use a plain texture with no symbol.
  • Fragile and easy to break:
    • If broken with any block-breaking tool, drops as its component materials.
    • If broken without a tool, or using a tool with the Silk Touchenchantment, drops as itself.
Sniffer Egg JE1.pngInvicon Sniffer Egg.png: Sprite image for Sniffer Egg in Minecraft linking to Sniffer EggSniffer Egg
Invicon Suspicious Gravel.png: Sprite image for Suspicious Gravel in Minecraft linking to Suspicious GravelSuspicious Gravel
  • Generates in cold ocean ruins and trail ruins.
  • Brushing the suspicious gravel with a brush extracts items.
Invicon Suspicious Sand.png: Sprite image for Suspicious Sand in Minecraft linking to Suspicious SandSuspicious Sand


Invicon Brush.png: Sprite image for Brush in Minecraft linking to BrushBrush
Angler Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngArcher Pottery Sherd JE2 BE2.pngArms Up Pottery Sherd JE1 BE2.pngBlade Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngBrewer Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngBurn Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngDanger Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngExplorer Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngFriend Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngHeart Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngHeartbreak Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngHowl Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngMiner Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngMourner Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngPlenty Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngPrize Pottery Sherd JE1 BE2.pngSheaf Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngShelter Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngSkull Pottery Sherd JE1 BE2.pngSnort Pottery Sherd JE1 BE1.pngPottery Sherds
  • They have symbolic pictures on them.
  • Different structures contain different pottery sherds.
  • Contains 20 different variants.
  • They cannot be crafted and are only found by brushing suspicious blocks.
Invicon Music Disc Relic.png: Sprite image for Music Disc Relic in Minecraft linking to Music Disc RelicRelic Music Disc

World generation

EnvSprite trail-ruins.png: Sprite image for trail-ruins in Minecraft linking to Trail RuinsTrail Ruins



Icon AdvancementIn-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different)Resource location
Advancement-plain-raw.pngInvicon Brush.pngRespecting the Remnants
Brush a Suspicious block to obtain a Pottery SherdAdventureadventure/salvage_sherd
Advancement-plain-raw.pngInvicon Sniffer Egg.pngSmells Interesting
Obtain a Sniffer EggHusbandryHave a sniffer egg in your inventory.
This is a hidden advancement, meaning that it can be viewed by the player only after completing it, regardless of if its child advancement(s), if any, have been completed.


October 3rd, 2020Archaeology was announced at Minecraft Live 2020.
April 14th, 2021Archaeology was delayed to 1.18.
November 17th, 2021Archaeology was announced to be added after The Wild Update.
February 10th, 2023Archaeology was announced to be added in 1.20.
Java Edition
23w07aAdded Archaeology.
Bedrock Edition
beta Archaeology.


In other media


Issues relating to "Archaeology" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  1. "Minecraft Live 2020" – Minecraft on YouTube, October 3, 2020
  2. "Minecraft Live: The Recap" –, October 3, 2020
  3. "Archeology coming to Minecraft 1.20" –, February 10, 2023