Discover the Secrets of Finding an Ancient City in Minecraft

Are you a Minecraft enthusiast looking to embark on a new adventure?

Discover the fascinating world of ancient cities in Minecraft in this article.

We will guide you through the process of locating an ancient city, from the thrill of discovery to the benefits of finding hidden treasures.

But beware of dangers lurking in these ancient ruins, from traps to mobs and environmental hazards.

Grab your pickaxe and let’s dive into the exciting journey of uncovering ancient cities in Minecraft!

What is Minecraft?

Minecraft is a survival-adventure sandbox video game that is available cross-platform across PC, Xbox, PlayStation, iOS, and Android. It was created and released in 2011 by Markus Persson, better known by his in-game name Notch, and was taken over by Mojang Studios in 2014.

The game started blowing up in 2012 and has since become the best-selling video game of all time, with over 200 million copies bought and 140 million monthly active users as of early 2022.

Here is how the game works:

  • Players are placed in a map made of blocky, 3D graphics with an almost endless land of varied environments including plains, mountains, forests, caves, deserts, snowy tundras, and more. There are even underground mine systems and multiple underworld and end dimensions.
  • Characters move, explore, and look for shelter during the daytime, when hostile enemies won’t attack them.
  • Creatures roam the land and can be utilized for securing materials and food, which can be combined to craft tools and construct nearly anything from simple buildings to intricate machines, as well as cultivate plant life.
  • The game saves progress, which allows for long-term projects.

Public and private or restricted servers exist, enabling users to play solo or with friends or even hundreds of other users.

How to Play Minecraft?

You can play Minecraft by owning or purchasing a Minecraft account, which you can get from the official Minecraft website. Version 1.18.1 of the game is called Caves & Cliffs by the developers, and it was released in 2021.’Minecraft is available for Windows, MacOS (OS X Yosemite), Linux, and various mobile and gaming console platforms where users can play offline and online.

Minecraft Java Edition (for all devices except Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows Mobile, and Legacy Console), and Minecraft Bedrock Edition (Windows 10, Xbox Series X|S & Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android) are the two most frequently used versions of Minecraft right now.

Playing Minecraft can be highly individual or social. On one end, you can engage in gameplay, progress in the game, and find the sought-out Lost City of Atlantis entirely alone.

What is an Ancient City in Minecraft?

An Ancient City is a large-scale architecture map in Minecraft that attempts to mimic Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Japanese cities during their most prosperous periods of the Bronze, Classical, and High Middle Ages. They aim to allow players to explore and interact with beautiful cityscapes. Ancient cities typically have palaces, arenas, temples, and the usual fixtures of a thriving urban center. Additionally, there are villas, shops, tradesmen’s workshops, fortifications, and housing. Some of the dealers are connected to one another through canal systems or road networks.

Why Should You Find an Ancient City in Minecraft?

Ancient cities are one of the many structures you can find in the Minecraft world via a variety of mediums. These abandoned cities are always located underwater.

In Minecraft’s update 1.13 in 2018 called the Aquatic Update, Mojang introduced a new underwater world for players to explore with coral reefs, underwater caves, and buried ruins of several types. There is always at least one ruined underwater city around an ocean every 1024 blocks extending into different dimensions of length and width and to a limit of 511 blocks.

In these cities, there are plenty of derelict remnants of old civilizations that you can take back to the surface and rebuild in your world as a museum to ancient civilizations. Players can also find places for farming and exalgia berries which can be used to make potions. But remember to bring a few doors with you or other ways to keep water from getting into your structures unless you like them soggy. One item of note is that elder guardians will attack you if you enter an area after breaking more than 1 block so be wary of the creatures and plan your explorations carefully.

These ancient structures are one of the easiest ways to find and collect Prismarine and its other forms for building. Prismarine comes in three different variants called Prismarine, Prismarine Bricks, and Dark Prismarine. There are abundant supplies of the blocks readily available in ancient city structures which makes gathering them for building very easy.

What Are the Benefits of Finding an Ancient City?

The benefits of finding an ancient city include gaining the services of the Lost Mason which is a unique wandering trader that is exclusive to ancient cities. This allows players to garner access to archeology tablets and archaeology books in order to learn and use the Villager enculturation mechanic for purchasing specific items. This is a Traveller’s Tunic in the image. There have also been reports of the Lost Mason roaming the rest of the overworld but they are much rarer in other biomes.

Switch Tutor is a generic wandering trader that provides knowledge in the form of book on how to make and use features of the mod. They produce a Traveller’s Backpack which provides an increase in inventory space when worn regularly, and an increased chance of aurora occurrence when worn outside during nighttime. Both entities can drop their respective items when killed.

How to Find an Ancient City in Minecraft?

To find an ancient city in Minecraft, search with a tool such as Chunkbase. On the Chunkbase website, fill in the seed number and then select Ruined Portal from the structure dropdown menu. Zoom in on the map to see the location. Comb the underwater section of the generated map to locate the ancient city. Diving or using an underwater elytra to explore quickly. If focused landmarks help, locate the Main Entrance Double Columns.

Explore Different Biomes

The best way to find an Ancient City in Minecraft is to explore different biomes. While most villages generate in plains, desert, taiga, or savannah biomes, the Ancient City generates in the Mesmerizing Grove biome. This biome only covers an still sparse 8 blocks on the coordinates. If you do not encounter the biome, you are still very likely to encounter an Ancient City in the Mesmerizing Groves (biome).

Biomes are somewhat related to altitude levels. Forest, jungle, and mushroom biomes are relatively rare. So too, snowy tundra, icy shores, and mountains. If you find one of these biomes, it may be worth checking out the surrounding top areas as these biomes have 1.5%, 0.7%, and 0.3% chances, respectively, of featuring a Pillager Outpost with Stable and Outskirt buildings. The same is true for a possible 1% chance at finding villages in the plains, desert, savanna, or taiga biomes.

Use a Map

Maps in Minecraft show a player’s position in the world and can be used to more precisely determine specific coordinates for finding an ancient city. Map-making is an important method to create landmarks or points of interest. Most ancient cities are built near geographical features such as rivers, making it easier to be spotted on a map.

Maps come in four types, with item frame glass borders and all showing the direction a player is facing with a small marker on the map known as the player arrow. The small zoom map these are made with can be combined 2×2 to make a larger display of surrounding terrain. A maximum of four zoom maps (a maximum of 96×96 blocks) can be combined, with the main map occupying the bottom row of the Crafting Grid.

Look for Clues

Ancient Cities in Minecraft do not spawn randomly. Instead, users need to search for them in their new worlds. Users who want to search for Sunken Cities or other pre-made structures in Minecraft introduced in official updates (i.e.. monuments, jungle temples, nether fortresses) do so by creating new worlds and searching the areas near spawn points in a systematic fashion.

Relying on luck to find these ancient cities is unlikely. For users who want to find Natural Regions containing archaelogical structures will have the most luck by creating new seeds and searching in new chunks. The ultimate task of this document is to provide a searchable document (*.pdf and webpage) providing cohesion and links to the location types.

Use Coordinates

In Minecraft, you can use processes known as teleporting or copy-pasting coordinates to find the ancient cities generated using the structure tool.

If you have commands enabled in your game, you can press F3 to see the x, y, and z coordinates which help to determine if you are in the right location. These are some of the key coordinates to remember for finding an ancient city in Minecraft along with F3:

  • 76.0 for fixed altitude above ground
  • 0 for x and z chunks, divided by 16, which helps you locate the center of the city
  • / tp @ p x y z used for teleporting into the structure
  • / locate or / tp to copy/paste the location of the monument which avoids using teleport commands
  • / setblock x y z minecraft:structure_block{modedata offset:{x:x, y:y, z:z}} to directly copy and paste the location

What to Do When You Find an Ancient City?

When you find an ancient city in Minecraft, you should immediately start chopping down the Kelp blocks. This is a crucial first step because kelp naturally rots and therefore the more kelp is harvested, the faster the Sea Lanterns and Prismarine blocks are removed without the need to use a pickaxe. This makes underwater mining of an ancient city less tedious, and keeps the farm looking better longer.

When you find an ancient city start by wandering the bathymetric landscape around it, taking care to break kelp at the right stages of growth. After that you can explore the central parts of the town to find more interesting buildings, as well as hidden chests. The ocean monument functions as the city hall of the ancient city, and is often the first structure raided by players looking for special drops.

Here is a list of what you can find if you explore the primary city center areas of an ocean monument:

  1. Central Water Entrance Corridor – Found at roughly the center of every ocean monument. Contains no notable buildings or structures, and leads into point 2.
  2. Triangles of the Prismarine Room – Entered as soon as you pass the first doorway in the central water entrance corridor. This is the main room of every ocean monument, containing the opportunity to explore dangerous monument guardians.
  3. Guardians’ Anti-player Trap Spikes Room – The main room finally connects to a room made up entirely of guardian spikes.
  4. Monument Core – The further muddle of the entrance to building 3’s guardian spike room leads to the core of the ocean monument’s elder guardian.
  5. Monument Gardens – Guardians will make multiple passes through the monument core until they reach the gardens where they will remain.

What Are the Dangers of Exploring an Ancient City in Minecraft?

The dangers of exploring an ancient city in Minecraft are from mobs (hostile and neutral creatures) as well as being exposed to the lava of magma blocks that may be just below the surface of structures and buildings. Buildings or pathways may have collapsed, exposing the player to an additional danger. Venturing very far from the city may have the net effect of bringing the player into areas where dangers are significant regardless of the city’s existence.


Inside the ancient city, you might find dangerous traps that need to be disabled or maneuvered. The traps most likely to be encountered are TNT traps, designed to collapse the tunnels, bridges, entryways, and other structures which will block your ability to see or navigate the city, as well as arrow shooters, which will hurt you and may push you off destructible walkways.

To disable a TNT trap, one option is to remove the redstone wire that activates a TNT block. When TNT blocks are not connected to redstone wire they do not detonate, so as long as the wire is removed it is safe to remove the TNT block with a pickaxe. The wire, as well as any observer blocks, will stand out against the normal grey cobblestone that makes up the ancient city’s floor and walls.

Arrow shooters are not permanently disabled, so be prepared to run through triggering a trap while not staying too close to them and looking back to see the trail of pressure plates you triggered as a reminder of where the shooters are.


Mobs are the living and moving entities of Minecraft. Mobs are organized into various categories including passive, utility, hostile, and environmental mobs. There are many kinds of passive mobs in Minecraft, the key ones being sheep, cows, and pigs. Passive mobs do not attack players or fight back when they are attacked and are similar to animal wildlife. Utility mobs include the iron golem, snow golem, bees, and cats. They provide various benefits to the player such as free materials, assisting the player in their battles, and the option to assist with housekeeping. Hostile mobs include skeletons, zombies, and creepers. They are unique in that they seek to kill any player or easy mob that they come across. Mobs such as spiders, the ender dragon, the wither, dolphins, and more are also found in Minecraft.

Environmental Hazards

Environmental hazards in the game are conditions that accidentally lead to the player’s death. Lava and Fire are environmental hazards that can be found in Nether Wastes, Soul Sand Valleys, or Basalt Deltas. According to the Minecraft official game guide, the player can avoid environmental hazards by being on the lookout for danger and watching their step. Always look down before entering another player’s structure. Blocks found in ancient city structures could mask the presence of lava or Cave Air that can deal the player damage.

Other Players

There are a number of external websites which list coordinates provided by players for ancient cities that they have found in Minecraft. For example, Seeds Epic Map Lists Video Game Guides lists over 450 different village coordinates in all versions of Minecraft which players have discovered on their maps.

Remember that if you are playing the same edition they played, the location on your map will be the same using the same seed. If you utilize this method, keep in mind to ensure the rules or guidelines for map systems are being followed and that locations submitted are permissible to all. For some locations, ancient cities may be helpful or at least provide interesting opportunities for exploration and enrichment. Smaller servers and multiplayer worlds and servers can be used as aids in locating ancient cities together with trusted players.


The best ways to find an ancient city in Minecraft are by following popular methods for finding villages with modifications appropriate to the specific structure you are seeking and by exploring mineshafts. In general, you are most likely to find an ancient city in the desert, the mesa, or the savannah, as well as on large islands with biomes capable of spawning villages. You will always be most likely to find them by looking in the world generator settings for worlds with a vast number of villages (such as dating sites that have many cows as an animal resource) even then the odds are very low. Your focus for getting to them should be on speedy travel over wide areas of territory. Once you find an immobile structure in any village, pillage it for resources and move on.

Smaller villages tend to generate an average of about 1 to 2 golems that patrol the pathways. Once you kill or lose them, the village can be reclaimed for villagers who will only readapt if there are now at least 4 doors in the village (do not forget to get them killed). The problem with finding and restoring ancient cities is that so many villagers and golems have to be slaughtered, especially with zombie villagers there is a need to wait for new ones to spawn. And once villagers are re-established you will need more than shops, workplaces, and composter bins as well as beds to prevent them from becoming unemployed snakes who wander the area. A good landmark to leave behind to not get lost in the mazelike structures is doors — create a path for easy entrance and exit since few villagers ever use iron doors. Dig tunnels instead of knocking down walls to attach relevant structures better. Properly light the area using glowstone, shroomlights, and/or redstone lanterns in any pyramids. Piglins cannot break shroomlights so they are the best option.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ancient city in Minecraft?

An ancient city in Minecraft is a pre-generated structure that can be found in specific biomes. They often contain valuable loot and are an exciting discovery for players.

How do I find an ancient city in Minecraft?

To find an ancient city in Minecraft, you can use the “/locate” command or explore the correct biome, such as the Desert or Jungle biome. You can also increase your chances by using a map to reveal nearby structures.

What tools do I need to search for an ancient city?

You will need a map, a compass, and possibly a shovel and pickaxe to search for an ancient city in Minecraft. These tools will help you navigate and dig through the terrain to uncover the structure.

Are ancient cities always in the same location?

No, ancient cities in Minecraft are randomly generated and will not always appear in the same location in a world. The only way to reliably find one is by using the “/locate” command or exploring the correct biome.

Can I find an ancient city in any Minecraft world?

Ancient cities can only be found in certain biomes, such as the Desert or Jungle biome. If your world does not have these biomes, you will not be able to find an ancient city. You may need to explore or create a new world to find one.

What should I do once I find an ancient city?

Once you find an ancient city in Minecraft, make sure to explore it thoroughly and collect any valuable loot you come across. Be careful of any traps or enemies that may be guarding the city. You can also take screenshots or share the location with other players to show off your discovery.

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