The Spawn Chunks 211: Re-Crafting Archaeology With ArchaeoPlays

Sep 19, 2022 | podcast

Jonny, and Joel are joined by Dr. Heather Christie for an in depth discussion about what it’s like to see Minecraft through the eyes of an archeologist, and how a potential archaeology mechanic in Minecraft could change, and challenge, how players think about, and interact with the world.

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Dr. Heather Christie | ArchaeoPlays


  • Bite-Size Archaeology Series
  • Archaeo SMP
    • A server made up of a bunch of archaeologists and heritage enthusiasts.
    • Trying to track how materials in Minecraft are re-used, and object biographies, in situations like tearing down or upgrading a starter build into a more permanent building.
    • To The Nether | Archaeo SMP | Minecraft 1.19 (



  • Empires, Season 2
    • Rebuilding a curved road so it was actually curved instead of freehand. The curve tightens as the road continues, following the golden ratio, which really fits with the identity of the empire.

Minecraft News

  • Minecraft Player Satisfaction Survey (
    • “Help us improve the Minecraft experience for everyone: Participate in our quality survey and provide us with your feedback. Survey closes September 22.” (@Minecraft on Twitter)
  • The First Ever Minecraft Ice Cream (
    • Minecraft has partnered with Nick’s Ice Cream to create four Minecraft themed ice cream flavours.
      • Cake Blocka, Enchanted Apple Pie, Emerald Minta, and Peanut Choklad Glowdust.

Chunk Mail

FROM: Alejandro T.
SUBJECT: Cartography Upgrade

Hello Jonny and Joel (and Heather)

I recently updated my old Minecraft world to 1.19 and went out exploring to find the new content, as one does with every update. Eventually I found myself in a boat leading a couple of frogs to my base. I wanted to avoid the nether. I wondered if there was a way back home while staying in the water, so I opened MCA Selector which allowed me to see a 2D map of everything I had explored in the world and I was able to plot a boat course all the way back home, with minimal walking involved, and ended up being a great deal of fun! 

The voyage was an adventure. I ran into a village or two, found some abandoned portals and ships. All the while consulting the map to check my path through rivers and seas. 

This made me think it would be great to have an improved Cartography feature. Cartographers should sell maps that show all sorts of things like, triple skeleton spawners, quad fortress intersections, specific biomes or entire pieces of the overworld without having to explore the area yourself with an empty map. 

The cartography table could get an upgrade as well, you could zoom in to maps, drag maps, place markers, and scroll the Y level in order to map caves.

We could of course retain some structures that remain unmapped to incentivize random exploration. Special remote prizes invite exploration, and even the old cobblestone dungeons would be revitalized by the possibility of triple and quad setups.

Cheers from Argentina!

Alejandro fell out of the map

FROM: ChefSammul
DISCORD MEMBER: Landscape Artist
SUBJECT: Structures Update Ahead Of Archaeology

Hey Pix, Joel, and Heather!

Over the last few updates and announcements, Mojang seems to be focusing loosely on the history of Minecraft with the addition of the Ancient City in The Wild Update, the new Minecraft Legends game, and previously mentioning Archeology at Minecraft Live.

Given this trajectory, what would you think of a Structures Update for Minecraft 1.20? This update could include:

  1. Updates to the loot tables or structure design of dungeons and underappreciated structures (like drowned villages, wells, classic dungeons, etc)
  2. A fresh look at the savanna (or badlands) biome while adding one or two new structures or biome features to the environment. (Like a watering hole or mud hut ruins.)
  3. Quality of life tweaks like updated UI for Bedrock users, as well as some pre-discussed configurable inventory interactions, Like a scrollable tool slot or auto-sorting button for your inventory.

In my opinion, these would seem to prepare the game (and players) for something as groundbreaking as archeology in the future.

Thanks for the great show!

ChefSammul lost track of time while studying the runes on the Desert Temple Walls.

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Join us on

Digging Up History In Minecraft With Dr. Heather Christie

In their YouTube series and Twitch streams playing Minecraft, Dr. Heather Christie explores the game from the unique, inquisitive perspective of an archaeologist. What can we learn about Minecraft by studying the game through the lens of archaeology? What does an archaeologist see in game features ancient cities, desert temples, and the indigenous village inhabitants of Minecraft? If Mojang was to add an archeology mechanic to the game, what implications does that have on the player experience? Can a balance be found between how archaeology really works, and fun, engaging gameplay?