One & two week courses

One and two-week courses are designed to give beginners and those with some experience the opportunity to take part in a remarkable working environment and gain an insight into the work of an archaeologist. Whether you are looking to begin a career in archaeology or have simply always wanted to try it, these courses are a fantastic way to get started.

The All Saints, North Street excavation. Image courtesy of @watertowers

The All Saints, North Street excavation. Image courtesy of @watertowers


Summer Excavation 2019


Please email for any further information and one of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.


A week long course runs from Monday to Friday and the working day is 9.30am until 5pm.

All courses come with a complimentary pass to all of the Jorvik Group attractions.

A Viking spindle whorl unearthed Summer 2014.

A Viking spindle whorl unearthed Summer 2014.

One week course

The one-week course will begin with an introductory talk about the site, excavation techniques and health and safety, and a site tour. Following this, the hands-on experience of excavation work begins. Time will be divided equally between three tasks:

  • Basic digging techniques: trowelling, mattocking, shovelling etc.
  • Site recording: planning, levelling, section drawing and context description.
  • Finds processing: washing, sorting and environmental sample processing.

One hour seminars by specialists from York Archaeological Trust on topics such as archaeological conservation, artefacts, stratigraphy and pottery dating and recognition will take place on each day. An evening walking tour of the archaeology of York will be included, this provides an opportunity to put the archaeology you have been working on into its local and regional context.

Two week course

Week one of a two week course follows the same format as above, while the second week of the course is more focused on practicing and developing the skills acquired during week one.


Duration                                       Price                                   Returnee/Friends of YAT

One weekTBCTBC
Two weeksTBCTBC
Three weeksTBCTBC
Four weeksTBCTBC

Please contact us by email if you would like to make a reservation enquiry. It is possible to do a course which is three or four weeks long, but please contact us beforehand to discuss what your training requirements are.

CIfA National Occupational Standards for Archaeological Practice

NOS are agreed statements of competence which describe the work outcomes required for an individual to achieve the standard expected of them in professional work. They are building blocks of S/NVQs but can be used in a number of other ways. They describe good practice in particular areas of work and can help to identify skills gaps and plan training. Archaeology Live! training courses are designed to compliment these guidelines and to instruct trainees in the core skills that are required on all archaeological projects. One week and longer courses comprehensively cover elements of CCSAPAC5, and will provide a valuable addition to any skills portfolio. Further details on these standards can be found at

A useful way to document your progress as you learn new skills is to download our Archaeology Live Skills Checklist.

We have a lower age limit of 16. This is dropped to 14 if accompanied by a parent guardian who is also completing a course.

Booking forms will be provided when dates/course places have been agreed and reserved.

E-mail is preferred, however, if you don’t have email access please phone (office hours Mon-Fri 9am to 3 pm).


Mobile: +44 (0) 7908 210026

The week nine team.

The 2015 week nine team.


  1. Emma Griffiths

    I would like to book a one week course from Monday 6th July to Friday 10th July.

    Thank you!

    • archaeologylive

      Hi Emma,

      No worries, I’ll reply via email.


  2. Amanda

    Will you be offering courses for 2016 as well? Would it be possible for a university student studying the Roman era through the early medieval period to slightly tailor a week-long or two-week-long course?

    Thanks. 🙂

    • archaeologylive

      Hello Amanda, thanks for getting in touch. We will indeed be up and running next year, the info is on the front page of the website. We’ll be digging features of various periods, and can tailor things sometimes depending on requirements. Send us an email via with what you would be hoping to tailor and we’ll see what we can do.

      All the best,

  3. june

    Hi, I attended a weeks training dig at Nottingham castle last year and am wondering if you were intending to repeat this dig this year.

    • archaeologylive

      June – We are not sure what the York Archaeological Trust Trent & Peak team in Nottingham have planned regarding archaeological training for next year. They had a successful season last year and will be running any project under a different setup than Archaeology Live! umbrella next time round.
      I guess the best thing to do would be to keep an eye on their web and facebook pages;

  4. Denisa

    Hi, do you provide accommodation for the duration of the excavation for people who do not live near York? Thanks!

    • archaeologylive

      Hi Denisa. As York has such a wide range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury hotels, we’ve found that people prefer to arrange their own accommodation as they can find something that suits their own preferences. There’s a quick guide to your options here:
      If you’d like to book a place, or have any further questions, email us via


  5. Hope

    Hello me and my friend where thinking of doing a week course but don’t live that near to it is there any accommodation that can be included with it. Or do you know any nearby place we could arrange accommodation ourselves. Thank you

  6. Gina

    Hi Arran, hope you are well now. Can you please advise dates to me when you have so we can look at plans. All the best from sunny nz Gina

    • archaeologylive

      Hi Gina,
      Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you on the blog, our email notifications about comments don’t seem to be coming through but I’m pretty sure we’ve given you all the details via email since you posted this?

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