As part of our day trip to York, we Visited the Jorvik Viking Centre, then followed on to the Jorvik Dig attraction. This all came under our PastPort ticket deal, which meant we could visit as many times as we wanted in a year with the ticket. The Jorvik Dig site is about 15 minutes walk from the Viking Centre, so we headed for some lunch en route.
Jorvik Dig York
Jorvik Dig is labelled as an Archaeological Adventure. However, when I tried to find more info online, there wasn’t much to find. The official website seemed to be blocked by my browser. Any online video didn’t show much more than kids digging in a play area. So practically blind we headed in to see what it was all about.
The attraction is set in a large church, which is important to say as we nearly walked past it, looking for a modern building.
We’d booked in for a 3 pm tour/dig?!?! Whatever that meant.
Inside Jorvik Dig
Ther attraction is layout out into 3 parts, just like the Viking Centre. The First part is an education discussion finding out what Archaeologists do. This was set in a room designed to look like a builders cabin. Bins, Hardhats and tools were located around the room. Alongside skeletons and loose bones and pottery fragments. Our Tour guide engaged the children with questions and answers. Encouraging them to guess at the answers. Every answer was received as a positive solution, even if they weren’t what was being asked for.
We were then lead to the dig sites. This section was 4 recreations of actual dig sites that have been uncovered around York. Each site was from a different time period. From Victorian to Roman, Viking and Medieval. As we dug through the rubberised granules we uncovered all sorts of finds. In the Victorian zone, we found belt buckles and a porcelain doll in an old fireplace. Over in the Roman pit, we discovered a skeleton and what looked like a gravestone. All items in these dig sites were recreations and replicas. So there weren’t real bones in there. After shaking all the rubber out of our shoes we moved on to the last section.
The last was about what you do with the dug up find when you have them back to the lab. The task we were given was to sort out items from a Viking archaeological site. placing them in a set of labelled trays to work out what were bones, teeth, pots, stones, metal and shells. Our trays were rich with oyster shells and animal teeth. Which gave us a hint as to the diet our Viking lived on. Another way we could find out what a Viking ate was by examining his poo! A large Viking fossilised poo was hanged around. This kid thought it was a stone, but when they found out it made them smile.
Jorvik Dig Review and Video
We spent about an hour and a half in Dig, which was longer than I’d thought we would. The attraction is relatively small and quite low-tech when compared to the Jorvik Viking Centre. Despite this the theming and Dig guide pull together an experience that is much more than you think it would be. Their enthusiasm for the history is exciting and through positive encouragement, the facts that they pass to the kids stick in their heads.
A small detail that I picked out of our tour was that the guide would offer facts to the children during the digging part of the tour. Then during the last stage would ask the questions that they knew the children had the answers for.
After the three-part tour, the rest of the church is open as an archaeological museum, displaying artefacts found from York.
For the official website follow this web address https://digyork.com/ However, I’ve not managed to view the website yet.
If we were paying for this as a stand-alone attraction, Adult Tickets are £6.50, Children £6.00 or a Family of 4 £20.00.