Minecraft's Trails and Tales update is just around the corner. It's a little uncommon in that it's an update largely driven by player creativity, since it adds a lot of blocks that vastly improve players' ability to decorate and be creative, but it's light on major new mechanics, aside from some mobs. Archaeology is perhaps the biggest exception. Minecraft will now feature a variety of ruins where players can carefully dig for ancient treasure like pottery shards. While this is a nice piece of detail for the overworld, the archaeology mechanic should ideally come to a ton of new Minecraft regions in the future.

Archaeology in Minecraft has been a long time coming, getting delayed from a past update and overhauled by Mojang. With the careful use of a brush, players can now discover all kinds of new loot in the Overworld. While archaeology is a great concept for Minecraft, however, it sticks to some of the most basic parts of the Overworld and the Minecraft universe in general. Ideally, Mojang will use future updates to expand archaeology by adding new artifacts to uncover in each of Minecraft's Overworld biomes, as well as the Nether and the End.

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Minecraft's Archaeology Sites Could Get Tons of Biome Variants


Right now, archaeology strongly favors deserts, oceans, and taigas. In deserts and warm oceans, players can brush Minecraft's suspicious sand for treasure, while taigas, cold oceans, and occasionally jungles will feature suspicious gravel that hides its own secrets. This is a good set of areas on Mojang's part, given that deserts and taigas are relatively mundane biomes that could use a new landmark to attract adventurous Minecraft players in Survival. Unfortunately, they're also only a fraction of the total settings found in the game, which means that archaeology only offers a narrow view into Minecraft history.

Plenty of other Minecraft biomes would be great homes for archaeological dig sites, and could earn their own ruins in future updates. Swamps seem like one perfect choice; Minecraft swamps are light on unique features, and could be differentiated with a suspicious mud block that spawns in sunken buildings. The Minecraft mushroom islands would also be great for a unique archaeological site. Not only would it make this biome useful for something more than just finding mushroom blocks, but it could offer some clues on these mysterious fungus-covered islands and how they might connect to broader Minecraft lore.

More importantly, though, Minecraft's farthest reaches deserve archaeology sites. The Nether is filled with ruins that players should be able to study in more detail, offering more piglin-themed or wither-themed loot. The End is also worthy of its own archeological loot, and adding some suspicious blocks to sift through there would give players more reason to explore the End in Minecraft after they beat the Ender Dragon and grab an elytra. Although it's not another dimension, the ancient cities in the Deep Dark biome are also ideal for archeology mechanics, given the spooky twist they put on the Overworld, as well as the questions raised by sculk and the Warden mob.

Given that archaeology is only just coming to Minecraft, it wouldn't be surprising if Mojang prioritized other biomes after Minecraft 1.20 Trails and Tales. It'd be wise to get a sense for how strong the mechanic is before committing heavily to it in the long term. However, after the likely inevitable 1.21 update, the Minecraft developer will likely have a good sense for the state of archaeology, and will hopefully have had a few ideas for how to incorporate it in new places and new ways. Archaeology looks like a potential star of the new Minecraft update; hopefully it becomes one of the new stars of Survival play.

Minecraft is available now on Mobile, PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.

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