Firing up a Passion for the Roman-Age in York

Examples of the handmade Roman inspired pottery crafted as part of the YourDIG Tang Hall project

Issued: 26/03/2018

New exhibition at DIG uncovers the story of Roman pottery in the city with the help of local communities.

York Archaeological Trust (YAT) is launching a brand new exhibition at DIG as part of their series promoting community-led initiatives across Yorkshire. YourDIG: Tang Hall will reveal the secrets of Roman pottery, and the process by which archaeologists use these precious artefacts to understand more about people who lived in the city more than 2,000 years ago.

Utilising the work undertaken by YAT and others that has brought to light key sites of Roman activity in and around York, this exhibition is the result of a partnership between the Trust and ‘Tang Hall Big Local’, a charity working with communities in Tang Hall, with pottery created by local residents that will be showcased alongside finds recovered from the period. There will also be a replica miniature kiln within the exhibition, which will demonstrate the external and internal components, the passage of the flames and even provides the evocative scent of wood smoke via a hidden smell cube.

Jen Jackson, Community Engagement Manager at York Archaeological Trust commented:

“This is the second of our YourDIG exhibitions and is a fantastic example of how archaeology can be done in so many ways, by anyone and everyone.  We follow the life story of a pot that was made in a kiln right here in York and buried in a Roman grave in the city where it lay for centuries before being found by York Archaeological Trust’s archaeologists in 2017.”

Crucial to the success of this project has been the involvement of Graham Taylor, the hugely respected potter and experimental archaeologist from “Potted History”. He shared his expertise with participants from Tang Hall, and helped them channel their creativity to produce a tactile representation of their shared Roman heritage.

“We can tell the story of the pot’s journey because of the evidence uncovered by many different people, both archaeologists and members of the local community who have explored the remains of the past through excavation and experimental archaeology. The exhibition celebrates these people’s investigations and use of different archaeological techniques to find out about the past. We hope it will inspire our visitors to find out more and maybe have a go at archaeology themselves.”

Continued Community Engagement Manager Jen Jackson, who is leading the development of the Your:DIG project.

YourDIG: Tang Hall is funded with support from Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund and runs from Friday 20th April until Sunday 29th July 2018, when it will be make way for another YourDIG exhibition. Admission to the exhibition is free but charges apply to access the other areas at DIG.

For more information on YourDIG please visit , call 01904 615505 or find the latest news on Twitter via @YATCommunity.



Image Caption – Examples of the handmade Roman inspired pottery crafted as part of the YourDIG: Tang Hall project.

Notes to Editors

About YourDIG

YourDIG is a series of collaborative exhibitions showcasing a range of community-led initiatives with selected partners from across Yorkshire. Managed by York Archaeological Trust and housed with ‘DIG: An Archaeological Adventure’ visitors are invited to explore the exhibition free of charge.

More information on DIG and YourDIG can be found at

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