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Mojang Studios has revealed that an upcoming Minecraft snapshot will contain the long-awaited archeology system, giving players the chance to test a feature that has originally been revealed all the way back during Minecraft Live 2020.

After being postponed in favor of other content, archeology will finally make its way into the game in Update 1.20.

While Minecraft offers gigantic worlds with lots of mysteries and inhabitants, sporting all sorts of ruins and temples in different biomes, so far players could not even begin to unravel the secrets behind these old structures.

Archeology will allow Minecraft players to finally delve into the past of the worlds they generate, adding some history to them.

The feature adds a new type of terrain to the game, suspicious sand. This can be found near desert temples. Players can use a new type of tool, the brush, to carefully work on suspicious sand and reveal its secrets. Those could be hidden tools, bones, eggs, and pottery shards. There will be different kinds of pottery shards, which contain parts of patterns. Combine four shards together, and you’ll get a pot with patterns telling unique stories from the history of your world.

A piece of pottery in a Minecraft desert.

Pottery shards are the most common find for many time periods in real life as well.

How to play a Minecraft snapshot

If you want to try the snapshot containing archeology for yourself, you can easily do so from your Minecraft launcher by following these steps:

  1. Start the Minecraft launcher.
  2. Click "Installations".
  3. For snapshots: click "Snapshots".
  4. Start up Minecraft.

The archeology snapshot goes live on February 15, 2023, so you’ll need to be a bit more patient. That’s a good trait to have for an archeologist in any case, because digging around and brushing dirt off of shards takes a while.