Desert temple

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Desert Temple
Desert Temple.png


Consists of

Smooth Sandstone
Chiseled Sandstone
Sandstone Stairs
Stone Pressure Plate
Orange Stained Clay
Blue Stained Clay

Can generate


First appearance

1.3.1 (12w21a)

Desert temples (also known as Pyramids) are generated structures.


Desert temples naturally generate in desert biomes. Desert temples always spawn with their floor at y=64. This may cause the desert temple to be partially buried.


Inside view of a desert temple.

Desert temples are constructed from sandstone (all 3 variants), orange and blue stained clay, sandstone slabs, and sandstone stairs.

In the center of the temple's ground floor is a single block of blue stained clay. Underneath this stained clay is a 'booby-trapped' hidden chamber with four chests that can each contain very valuable loot. The trap consists of a stone pressure plate (located directly under the blue stained clay), connected to a 3x3x1 grid of TNT.

Preview of the 4 hidden chests with the TNT Trap under the desert temple.

Desert temples look gray on maps, similar to bare stone, but with a distinctive shape.


Each chest contains 2–6 stacks of items, chosen from the following list. Chance listed is per stack, not for the chest as a whole.

Item Quantity
per stack

1–3 4.11% (3/73)

Iron Ingot
1–5 13.7% (10/73)

Gold Ingot
2–7 20.5% (15/73)

1–3 2.74% (2/73)

4–6 27.4% (20/73)

Rotten Flesh
3–7 21.9% (16/73)

1 4.11% (3/73)

Iron Horse Armor
1 1.37% (1/73)

Golden Horse Armor
1 1.37% (1/73)

Diamond Horse Armor
1 1.37% (1/73)

Enchanted Book
[note 1]
1 1.37% (1/73)
  1. Enchanted books in the same chest will have the same enchantments. Enchantment probabilities are the same as a level-30 enchantment on an enchantment table, but the chance of multiple enchantments is not reduced.



Official release
1.3.1 12w21a Added desert temples.
1.4.6 12w50a Enchanted books now spawn in desert temple chests.
1.8 14w03a Desert temples now spawn with stained clay instead of wool.
Console Edition
TU14 Added desert temples.


Issues relating to "Desert temple" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.


  • The desert temple's basement is 21 blocks by 21 blocks.
  • The orange symbols on the outside resemble the Ancient Egyptian symbol for Life,[1] an Ankh. [2]
  • A desert temple is constructed from:
    • 3,078 sandstone blocks
    • 184 smooth sandstone blocks
    • 39 chiseled sandstone blocks
    • 54 blocks of orange stained clay
    • 16 sandstone stairs
    • 9 TNT blocks
    • 4 chests
    • 2 sandstone slabs
    • 1 block of blue stained clay
    • 1 stone pressure plate
    • It has a rare chance of generating improperly causing some blocks to be lost or added.
  • As there is no light in the lower chamber, mobs can spawn inside and trigger the TNT trap, destroying the chests and loot before any player can reach it. Also, rarely a lava lake might generate next to TNT, potentially setting the trap off as well.
  • A desert temple will not spawn fully if spawned partially on water. When spawned on lakes, they are only half-generated.
  • The top hole in the temple's ceiling is almost always generated above ground, so buried temples will be accessible, but fall damage is likely.
  • When a desert temple spawns above a ravine, it will not have a deeper foundation the way village buildings do; rather, its shaft will be left hanging. There will always be a one-block floor under the TNT.


See also[edit]


  1. Ankh on Wikipedia.