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Last chance to see Hungate dig

York Archaeological Trust

12:01am 22nd October 2011

Archaeologists working on one of the country's largest excavations will welcome the public to the site for the final time this weekend.

York Archaeological Trust's Hungate excavation is the largest developer-funded project to take place in York, and the city's biggest urban excavation for over a quarter of a century.  

The five year long excavation, which has uncovered 2000 years of York's history, comes to an end in December.  Over the course of the dig, which is funded by Hungate (York) Regeneration Ltd, York Archaeological Trust has welcomed more than 23,000 visitors to the site and uncovered a variety of unique artefacts.

Rare Roman Jet jewellery, an exquisitely carved 14th Century stone corbel, 1000-year-old ice skates made from bone, the remains of seven Viking Age cellar buildings and a tiny Middle Eastern glass bead traded across thousands of miles at the end of the 1st millennium AD are just some of the finds unearthed by the Hungate project team and community archaeologists over the last five years.

The excavation has also revealed that the 2500sqm site has, in its time, been used as a Roman cemetery, as part of the Viking settlement of Jorvik, as the medieval city dump, a Post-Medieval market garden and a tight knit working class community.

This weekend, visitors have a final opportunity to meet the archaeologists, who will be on hand to talk through some of the remarkable finds.  

Peter Connelly, Project Director for Hungate Excavations at York Archaeological Trust say:

"This excavation has been an incredibly interesting and varied project uncovering all sorts of aspects of York's remarkable heritage.

"The tremendous team we have had on site over the five years have met every challenge of picking apart and understanding the intricate details of the last 2000 years of the Hungate area and have gone on to share this knowledge with everyone.

"The project has also had a strong community element and people from across all of York have contributed to the success of the dig.  
"Over the last five years we have welcomed over 1,800 people - as young as 10 and up to 70 years old - to help excavate the site. Those people have been instrumental in helping us uncover and record a slice of history."  

Throughout the excavation, the Hungate site has been open for public tours and a series of events that have enabled people to meet the archaeologists, get 'hands on' with some of the finds, explore exhibitions, take part in workshops, activities and events and learn more about York's unique heritage.

The final Hungate open day takes place on Saturday 22nd October from 10am until 3pm.  For more information, go online to www.dighungate.com.

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