Taster courses

Taster courses are designed to provide trainees with an awareness of what is involved in working on a modern excavation. They are an affordable and hands-on introduction to digging and finds work. All taster courses include a ticket to all of the YAT attractions.

Barry and Hayley - The Essex dream team.


Summer Excavation


Taster courses are available Tuesday-Friday each week with a two day taster ideally running Tue-Wed or Thu- Fri. For any further queries please email us at trainingdig@yorkat.co.uk and one of the team will get back to you.


One day taster

The basics of digging and finds work

  • Introduction and site tour
  • Excavation techniques (generally trowelling and sieving)
  • Washing and studying the finds made during the day

Two day taster

A more in-depth introduction to digging and finds work.

  • Introduction and site tour
  • Excavation (trowelling, mattocking and sieving)
  • Site recording (drawing plans and using a level)
  • Finds washing and study


One day TasterTBCFriends of YAT/Returnees cost TBC
Two day TasterTBCFriends of YAT/Returnees cost TBC

Gill and Katie in Contrary Corner.

Katie and Gill exposing an 18th century cobbled floor.

Taster Days run Tuesday to Friday, subject to availability. The first working day is 10.30am – 5pm including a 45-minute lunch break and a 15-minute tea break. The second day would start at 9.30am and have an additional morning break. Full details of working arrangements will be supplied on booking.

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

Please contact us by email if you would like to make a reservation enquiry/provisional booking.

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 confirmed, agreed and reserved.

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

E-mail: trainingdig@yorkat.co.uk

Mobile: +44 (0) 7908 210026


  1. Liz Parkes

    I am looking to book a two day taster course for a surprise birthday present for a friend. Would you let me know what dates you have available in July and August. Also because this is a surprise if the dates I choose were not suitable for her would she be able to change them.
    Would you also let me know if she would need to bring any tools and high vis with her
    Liz Parkes

    • archaeologylive

      Hi Liz,
      Apologies for the slow response. I’ve replied to you via email with the booking options.


  2. Kath Hodkin

    Hi. I am interested in booking a 1 or 2 day taster course either the second week in September or in the autumn. Can you advise what dates would be available. Many thanks

  3. Keren Jane McBratney


    I am interested in booking a taster course for my mum for Christmas, do you know when any of the 2017 dates will be published?

    • archaeologylive

      Hi Keren,

      We’re in the process of tying up loose ends regarding next year’s excavations. We’ll definitely have everything in place prior to Christmas, hopefully even a little sooner. Send us an email to trainingdig@yorkat.co.uk to join the interest list, or keep your eyes on these pages for updates.


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