Archaeology Live! 2017

The days of archaeology sitting inside a glass cabinet are over! York Archaeological Trust are delighted to invite you to pick up your trowel, join the team and take part in our excavations in the heart of our historic city.

The All Saints, North Street excavations. Image courtesy of David Dodwell

The All Saints, North Street excavations. Image courtesy of David Dodwell

The Archaeology Live! training excavations are an innovative way to get a hands-on experience of the discipline and to receive expert training from full-time professional archaeologists. Created back in 2001, the project was one of the first excavations to be entirely funded by the people who take part and 2017 will mark our seventeenth consecutive season of totally crowdfunded archaeology! Whether you are starting out on a career in archaeology, or just want to experience the excitement of a live  excavation, everyone is welcome to take part!

Our training excavations are open to anyone aged 16 and above (14 if accompanied by a guardian also attending a course) and offers the opportunity to work on complex, deeply stratified archaeology.

When are we digging?

Post-excavation courses (2016)

November 28th – December 2nd

December 5th – December 9th

We’re currently working on some exciting plans for the 2017 excavation season, watch this space for updates!

Spring Excavation 2017

Dates TBC

Summer Excavation 2017

Dates TBC

Autumn Excavation 2017

Dates TBC

Weekend Excavations 2017

Dates TBC


The week six team, All Saints 2015

Do I need experience?

None at all! Whether you’re on your first ever dig, or are a seasoned veteran, the Archaeology Live! team can tailor the courses to fit your requirements and level of experience.

Course Information

From a one day taster, to an intensive four week course, there are options to suit everybody. Here’s the info you’ll need:

One week and longer courses

Taster courses

Weekend courses

How do I book?

To book a place, just send an email with your preferred dates and any questions you may have to

One of the team will get right back to you with booking forms and any further information that you require.

What will we find?

This is always the big question, but in the case of all our previous sites, we do know the answer – a lot! Urban archaeology rarely fails to deliver wonderful finds and features, especially in the unparalleled layers beneath the streets of York!

Looking down on the Rectory walls.

Looking down on the Rectory walls, All Saints, 2015.

The archaeological sequence at our recent All Saints and St. Saviours sites covered a date range of over two millennia. Finds and features from prehistory to the 20th century and everything in between were unearthed. To catch up on previous seasons, look through our archive of site diaries.


The Archaeology Live! training excavation provides a way to learn about and participate in excavation, recording, planning, environmental sampling and finds processing.  Any other specific requests for training may also be available on application. Professional field archaeologists provide all the training throughout the course.

During Archaeology Live!, all of the archaeology will be excavated and recorded by the trainees; the trainers teach and assist when required. It is a field-based training program where people learn by doing the excavation, and by discovering and recording the archaeology themselves, rather than by classroom-based tuition.

For more information contact:


Mobile: +44 (0) 7908 210026



  1. Just pages of interesting a brilliant information on the ongoing archaeology After reading I just want to become a part of your work Looking forward to a reply. Hazel SMith. Sheffield

  2. Hazel a smith.

    March 21, 2016 at 4:22 am

    Would it be possible to book a place on next years archaeology excavations please h a smith

  3. miss julie mann

    April 7, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Hi could you put me on your mailing list for 2017 thankyou kind regards Julie

    • Hi Julie,

      The best way to make sure that you’re kept up to date is to send us an email saying that you’re interested in digging with us in 2017. With the volume of correspondence we receive, everything’s easiest by email.


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