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Minecraft's long-delayed archaeology system coming in this year's 1.20 update

Pot luck.

Nearly two years after its initial delay, Minecraft's long-awaited archeology feature is finally on the horizon, with developer Mojang now confirming it'll be arriving as part of the game's 1.20 update later this year.

Archeology was originally announced during 2020's Minecraft Live, and was planned to release as part of the game's expansive Caves & Cliffs update the following summer. However, as its launch date neared, Mojang - as it grappled with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic - announced it had made the decision to split Caves & Cliffs' feature list into two, with a second release due before the end of the year. Archeology, though, had been decoupled from even that and would arrive at an unspecified future point.

Skip ahead almost two years and we're back to today, and the announcement that archeology will finally debut with Minecraft's next major update.

Mojang revealed archeology would likely recieve a significant delay back in 2021.Watch on YouTube

Initially, budding Minecraft archeologists will want to head into the desert and dig near temples to uncover exotic wonders, but Mojang notes it plans to add further dig sites as it iterates on the feature. While digging, players should keep an eye out for suspicious sand blocks which, once discovered, must be given a delicate tickle with the new brush tool.

With enough brushing, the suspicious sand will reveal its secrets, be they random objects or pottery shards. The latter can be assembled into a complete pot once four shards have been collected - but players will need to keep a close eye on their patterns to make sure they have a matching set. "There are different patterns that tell unique stories and make for very decorative accents in your builds," Mojang explains.

Budding archeologists will need to break out Minecraft's new brush tool.

Mojang says it'll be revealing Minecraft 1.20's remaining features over time - and while it doesn't have an ETA yet beyond a vague "2023", those that want to dig in early can do so as soon as its relevant snapshots, betas, and previews start to release, as explained here.