Educational Visits at DIG

Step through the doors of DIG and open a whole new world of discovery.

Whether you are looking for a visit which offers a completely different educational experience or just a fun day out we can guarantee that you will not be disappointed with a visit to DIG.

At DIG, learners can take part in an excavation and discover real artefacts. This exploration reveals the history of York, through Roman, Medieval, Viking and Victorian times. Learning at DIG is designed to be hands-on and evidence- based, with full use made of the site’s excellent collection. DIG is approximately five minutes’ walk from the JORVIK Viking Centre.

Teacher’s Note:

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

The Experience

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 area, pupils can unearth real artefacts from four different historical periods and discover more about the history of York over the past 2000 years.

Pupils then move into the ‘Ask the Archaeologist’ area, where our staff will lead them as they explore and handle genuine objects from the past. Activities include sorting and identifying different finds, and pupils will be prompted to use their own methods of historical enquiry to explore how archaeological primary sources can be used to learn about different periods.

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


Visits to DIG can be upgraded to include a trip to JORVIK Viking Centre, and a series of specially designed workshops that meet cross-curricular learning needs for a range of exciting topics.

To book or upgrade your visit, please call our Reservations Department on 01904 615505 or email