Young people in York will have a unique opportunity to get their hands dirty and uncover hidden parts of the city’s past, as Kids Dig York returns.  From 25 March to 6 April, children aged 8 to 12 can join a real dig alongside experts from York Archaeology at Willow House, just inside Walmgate Bar, for three-hour hands-on sessions.


During the sessions, the young archaeologists will learn site safety, the historical background of the site and discuss the processes of excavation and recording. Once briefed and armed with a trowel, they will get a chance to dig, clean up and identify their finds, and handle artefacts from previous excavations in York and discuss what they can teach us about the city’s history. 


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The Willow House site has already revealed evidence of activity spanning 4,500 years. Finds so far have ranged from Victorian brick cellars to medieval butchery waste pits filled to the brim with animal bone.  Thousands of artefacts have been discovered, from 1970s crisp packets to Victorian, medieval and Roman pottery. Some finds have even pre-dated the Roman occupation in York!


“York Archaeology already has a superb reputation for introducing children to archaeology in DIG in St Saviourgate, which gives them a ‘clean digging’ experience, but this is the real thing: a real site within the city walls in which we’ve already made some significant finds,” comments community archaeologist, Arran Johnson, who has been working on the site for three years.  “This is a brilliant introduction to the work of a fieldwork archaeologist, and a fun and educational way of spending time during the Easter holidays.”


This is the second year that York Archaeology has hosted a Kids Dig York event, with fantastic feedback from participants in the first, which took place last Easter.


Places on the sessions must be prebooked, as interest is expected to be very high.  Sessions are currently open for bookings from Monday 25 March to Saturday 6 April and can be booked via the York Archaeology website. 



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