YourDIG: Melting Pot

YourDIG - Melting PotYork Archaeological Trust has been working with the University of York’s Melting Pot project to use cutting-edge archaeological science to explore Viking-age cooking and society. For this YourDIG project, we invited A-level science students from York College to carry out some experimental archaeology to see if we could replicate how Vikings cooked over 1100 years ago.

Visitors can discover the biochemical techniques used by archaeological scientists to investigate evidence of Viking cooking from the pottery they left behind.

The Melting Pot project has been using innovative technology to study the role of food and cooking as part of life in Viking-Age Britain. As food is central to the production of identity, especially in terms of migration and culture contact, it’s an important element of Viking-Age studies which has much potential.

YourDIG - Melting Pot (2)By analysing a large quantity of pottery from across England and Scandinavia, the project will use scientific analysis to explore the contents of the pots, and the ways in which they were used.

The aims of the Melting Pot project are: to understand the role of material culture in cuisine; the nature of culinary change and innovation; the relationship between food and migration, urbanisation and commercial expansion; and the relationship between food and local politics.

The Viking Age was the social, economical, political and religious crucible of English and wider European society, so understanding this time period is fundamental to any studies of later and contemporary culture.

You can discover more about the Melting Pot project here.

Discover the Melting Pot exhibition & events