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Efe Excavating

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 it had been delayed three times until the Trails & Tales update.[3]


By using a brush on suspicious sand at warm ocean ruins (those whose main building material is sandstone), desert pyramids, and desert wells, players can discover and obtain artifacts and other loot, such as sticks, emeralds, and pottery sherds. Pottery sherds can be used to add decoration to decorated pots. The brush can also be used on suspicious gravel found in cold ocean ruins (those whose main building material is stone brick) and trail ruins. Suspicious blocks provide a wide variety of items after brushing. If a suspicious block falls or is broken, they permanently break and the loot inside is lost.



Decorated Pot (E) JE1 Decorated Pot
  • Can be crafted with any 4 pottery sherds or brick items, shaped rhombic.
    • The type of crafting material decides which picture appears on the certain side of the crafted decorated pot.
      • The possible pictures are decided by the type of pottery sherd which is used to craft.
      • The brick item does not have a picture.
  • It is very fragile and very easy to break:
    • Breaks apart into its crafting materials when breaking it using any block-breaking tool.
    • Drops itself when breaking it using nothing or a tool enchanted with Silk Touch.
Sniffer Egg Sniffer Egg
Suspicious Gravel BE1 Suspicious Gravel
  • Generates in cold ocean ruins and trail ruins.
  • Brushing the suspicious gravel with a brush extracts items.
Suspicious Sand JE1 BE1 Suspicious Sand


Brush JE1 BE1 Brush
Angler Pottery SherdArcher Pottery SherdArms Up Pottery SherdBlade Pottery SherdBrewer Pottery SherdBurn Pottery SherdDanger Pottery SherdExplorer Pottery SherdFriend Pottery SherdHeart Pottery SherdHeartbreak Pottery SherdHowl Pottery SherdMiner Pottery SherdMourner Pottery SherdPlenty Pottery SherdPrize Pottery SherdSheaf Pottery SherdShelter Pottery SherdSkull Pottery SherdSnort Pottery Sherd Pottery 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.
Music Disc Relic JE1 Relic Music Disc

World generation[]

Trail Ruins



Icon Advancement In-game description Parent Actual requirements (if different) Resource location
Advancement-plain-rawRespecting the Remnants
Brush a Suspicious block to obtain a Pottery Sherd Adventureadventure/salvage_sherd
Advancement-plain-rawSmells Interesting
Obtain a Sniffer Egg HusbandryHave 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 is announced to be added after The Wild Update.
February 10th, 2023Archaeology is 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" – Minecraft.net, October 3, 2020
  3. "Archeology coming to Minecraft 1.20" – Minecraft.net, February 10, 2023