Minecraft archaeology is finally coming three years after it was announced

(Image credit: Mojang)

Minecraft's archaeology feature has been on hiatus for years now, but the devs at Mojang have finally confirmed that it's set to land as part of the 1.20 update.

Archaeology was announced for the Caves & Cliffs update back in 2020, but in the wake of the update's delays and its split into two parts, the devs announced in 2021 that some features - like archaeology - had "been put on hold," though they had definitely "not been canceled" and were "going to Minecraft in the future when we’re able to add them in the best possible way."

The future is 2023, it seems, as Mojang has now confirmed that archaeology is set to launch as part of the 1.20 update later this year. If you want to try it out before that proper launch, the feature will be available to test in snapshots and beta previews "very soon."

In its current iteration, archaeology hinges on a new block called suspicious sand. You'll be able to use a new tool - the brush - to uncover what hides inside those blocks. The rewards can include random items, as well as pottery shards, which can sport many individual patterns. Combine four shards of your choice together and you get a nifty pot with a custom design.

The devs are drip-feeding information what to expect from Minecraft 1.20, but the update will bring us highly anticipated new features like the armor trim system.

A recent snapshot also confirmed that one of Minecraft's most infamous bugs has been fixed - only a decade late.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.