DIG: What will you find?

DIG is an exciting attraction which enables learners to engage with archaeology in a hands-on way. Become archaeologists for the day and learn how we can use our discoveries to learn more about life in the past.

DIG banner

Teacher’s Note:

Due to an increase in demand we are recommending booking your visit at least six weeks in advance to guarantee the perfect experience for your school. For more information please visit the updated school visit booking process page.

The soil is not real; it is safe and clean so no change of clothing is necessary.


Handling genuine objects from the past, pupils will find out which materials survive and how archaeologists sort and identify finds to learn about different periods. Your class can put their enquiry skills to the test, using scientific thinking to analyse the materials left behind.


Investigate 2000 years of York’s history as you explore our collections and displays. Find out about Roman burials customs, Viking trading, medieval town life and Victorian toilets in our activity-filled exhibition spaces.


At DIG, learners have a go at excavating finds for themselves. Sessions start in the briefing hut, where pupils are instructed on digging for archaeological finds and kitted out with the tools they will need. Once inside the DIG pits, pupils can unearth real artefacts from four different historical periods and discover more about the history of York over the past 2000 years


The use of archaeology to teach historic knowledge and scientific skills can be a great asset when it comes to cross-curricular learning. Recent assessment of our education offer at DIG has shown the usefulness of archaeology education:

 ‘… [my] study has proved that DIG – its methods, subject matter and archaeological principles – can be incredibly effective in the historical education of children, both in terms of historical narrative and for the development of essential life skills. When included as part of a term-long historical study, the methods used at DIG are very useful for providing a context for their subject, and bridging the gap between different time periods.’

DIG – An Archaeological Adventure? 2013 dissertation by Mary Plummer, UCL Institute of Archaeology

DIG aims to assist in raising national standards supporting:

  • Pre-school organisations in delivering Early Years Foundation Goals
  • Schools and colleges in fulfilling National Curriculum requirements
  • Further and Higher Education institutions offering training opportunities linked to Post 16 vocational and non-vocational courses
  • Community and Continuing Education initiatives and Lifelong Learning Networks

We hope that you will join us soon and help us DIG up more secrets from York’s past.

JORVIK Group Learning Programme 2018/19