How to find an ancient city in Minecraft: tips, seeds and more

How to find an ancient city in Minecraft: tips, seeds and more
Written by ga_dahmani
How to find an ancient city in Minecraft: tips, seeds and more

Wondering how to find an old town in minecraft? Unfortunately, they can be very elusive, but once you know what you’re looking for and where, it’s much easier to unearth this wonderful metropolis. Ancient Cities are spectacular structures buried deep within the earth, one of the earliest underground monuments, except Fortresses, in fact, so now you have something to pay attention to while digging for diamonds in Minecraft.

Be careful though, because the Ancient Cities have a dangerous mob within their walls: the Guardian. This blind but brutal creature is the toughest enemy in Minecraft history, but it holds some exciting loot. Here’s what you need to know about finding a minecraft old townwhat to expect when you get there, and some of the best Ancient City seeds if you want to skip the hard part.

Minecraft Ancient City: A view of an ancient city from above

How to find an ancient city in Minecraft

The first thing you need to know is that unlike Ocean Monuments and Wooden Mansions, there is no Ancient City map to find or buy in Minecraft. This time, the work is all on you. The best thing you can do to narrow down your search is to know where to look and what signs to look for.

Despite their terrifying nature, Ancient Cities are located in the overworld, so you don’t even need to go to the Nether to be scared. This means that, contrary to popular belief, no Old City portal is required to get there, and you can start looking for one right away (if you’re brave enough). Instead, underground structures are only found in the Deep Dark biome, which is far below the depths of the surface. You’ll know you’re in a Deep Dark biome by the presence of black and turquoise Sculk items, like Sculk Veins and Sculk blocks, as they only spawn in this exclusive underground biome.

Ancient Cities also only spawn at level Y -51, so our recommendation for finding the Guardian’s home is to mine at that level, paying special attention when you see Sculk blocks. This way you will not waste time, since it is the best level to find both diamonds and Ancient Cities.

Minecraft Ancient City – An ancient city intersected by a fortress, with the end portal in sight

Best Minecraft Old Town Seeds

Here are three of the best seeds to play with if you want to start a new world with an ancient city nearby.

Ancient city near spawn

  • 2265063769536625355: If you just want an ancient city that’s quick and easy to find, then this seed is a great place to start. Not only is there an ancient city near the spawn point, but there’s also a dungeon with a spider spawner and two chests directly below you at the spawn. For the Ancient City, just mine east from the spawn to X=86, Z=10.

Ancient city with a mine shaft and lush cave

  • 8897873426518916880: This ancient city is a little further from the spawn, but still very close, while being almost adjacent to a large, beautiful, lush cave. Head southwest to coordinates -130, 387 for the city, with the lush cave a little further on at -176, 489. Directly above the Old City is a mineshaft with even more loot to collect.

Ancient city with a fortress and a mine shaft

  • -6542427500181432213: For those who like to go to the end, Reddit User Jereaux I found the perfect Ancient City seed. While you have to travel about a thousand blocks from spawning to find it (-1036, 1124), a Fortress spawns within an Ancient City, with the portal room directly in front of the central structure.

Ancient cities explained

Ancient cities are unlike any other structure in Minecraft, right down to their naturally generated redstone contraptions, which are only found in jungle temples. There’s a lot to explore when you finally find one, and it probably took you a while to get there, so make the most of it. Familiarize yourself with everything you need to know about these strange and sacred halls before you go, and keep your eyes and ears open for the Guardian. Here are the key things to keep in mind as you explore:

  • The central statue of the Guardian: Marking the center of the Old City is a gigantic statue, depicting the Guardian’s face with newly reinforced blocks of deep slate. Reinforced Deepslate looks nice, but sadly it can’t be mined, and this is the only place it spawns. While this central monument may look like a portal to the Old City, it won’t transport you anywhere, but it does sit above a secret redstone door.
  • Secret Redstone Room: In front of the central monument, you’ll find a loot chest with a golden carrot or apple inside, or a chiseled slate bridge – these are the triggers to open a secret redstone door. Walking on the bridge or chewing on the golden food activates a Sculk sensor under your feet, and you should hear the door open behind you. Head inside for a little lesson in redstone contraptions.
  • ice boxes: Ice chests are small rooms located outside the long corridors of the Old City and are evident by the presence of blocks of ice on top. They’re worth investigating, as there’s a loot chest hidden under their hatch. Simply activate the right pressure plate to open it. Activate the wrong pressure plate, though, and you could piss off the Guardian while the Note Blocks are playing.
  • Blocks: While you can’t collect the new Deepslate variant, there are plenty of other interesting and unique blocks to collect during your time in an ancient city. Soul Sand spawns in the Ancient Cities, the only place outside of the Nether, as its bright blue flame lights up the city. You can also collect candles and even skeleton mob heads from the city ruins around you, while the floors are lined with rugs and wool blocks to soften your footsteps, preventing them from triggering the Sculk sensors.

Minecraft Ancient City: An Isolated Sitting Chest

ancient city loot

Multiple loot chests spawn in Minecraft Old Towns, and with the exception of ice crates, they are all clearly visible and easily accessible. Many interesting and useful items can be found in these chests, such as Snowballs (throw one to send a Guardian rambling in the other direction), Echo Shards (used to craft a Salvage Compass), and Music Disc Shards ( can be placed on a Crafting Table to make a complete record). Both Echo Shards and Music Disk Fragments are exclusive to Ancient City chests.

All items that can be found in Old Town chests:

  • amethyst shard
  • baked potato
  • Bone
  • Book
  • Bottle O’ Enchantment
  • Candle
  • Coal
  • Compass
  • Damaged Enchanted Diamond Hoe
  • Disc Fragment (5)
  • echo shard
  • Enchanted book
  • Enchanted Diamond Leggings
  • enchanted golden apple
  • enchanted horse armor
  • Enchanted Iron Leggings
  • glowing berries
  • golden carrot
  • Guide
  • Music Disc (Other Side, 13th Cat)
  • name tag
  • packed ice
  • healing potion
  • regeneration potion
  • Saddle
  • sculpt
  • Sculk Catalyst
  • concealment sensor
  • Snowball
  • soul torch
  • fishy stew

Minecraft Ancient City: a guardian looking at the player

The Guardian

The main feature of Minecraft Ancient Cities is the deadly Warden mob. We have a separate guide on Minecraft Warden, with full details on how to spawn, avoid, or fight the creature. In short, though, he just be careful where he steps when he roams the Old City, and be on the lookout for monsters that emerge from the ground if he triggers nearby Sculk sensors too many times. If you make the Guardian angry, it’s best to stay still and quiet until he disappears; attacking the mob is more likely to end in your death than theirs.

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Now that you know everything there is to know about Minecraft Ancient Cities and the secrets hidden in the Deep Dark, sharpen that pickaxe and start mining. To increase your chances of survival, we recommend that you use your Minecraft brewing support and equip some of the best enchantments. Good luck down there, you’re going to need it.

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