The prospect of an exciting new dig at York….!

The five-year-excavation of Coppergate was a big attraction. Photograph: York Archaeological Trust /

The York Archaeological Society is hoping that an important new dig in the city is going to attract thousands of tourists. It will be an excavation into the city’s Roman history, and being outdoors will be an advantage in these times of Covid 19 restrictions. This can only be a good thing when so many indoor attractions are suffering.

It will be the most important dig since the 1981 discovery of Viking treasures at Coppergate (see above illustration). It is to be called Dig for Eboracum and is hopefully to be available for onlookers in summer.

If you go to this site you’ll learn that “ . . . Plans have been submitted by the trust and developers North Star to redevelop Rougier Street as the ‘Roman Quarter’ with flats, offices and commercial space, and an underground Roman museum . . . “ But, before that can happen (and if permission is granted!) the Trust will have two years in which to excavate the site.

If planning permission is granted for the development in autumn 2020, the trust will start marketing Dig for Eboracum as a tourist attraction for the summer.

So let’s cross our fingers, ladies and gentlemen! Ricardians are inclined to think of York as it concerned Richard III, but of course he was actually rather late on the scene. Nevertheless, whatever is discovered of Eboracum will have been there in his time, just as it still is in ours.

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