What’s on : Lectures

The Roman Quarter

20 Oct 2020
Start time
7:30 PM
Ian Milsted, York Archaeological Trust
The Roman Quarter

Event Information

The Roman Quarter

Ian Milsted, Regional Manager, York Office, York Archaeological Trust

The Trust plans to create an archaeological visitor attraction in York dedicated to Roman York. Before the attraction opens there are plans for a two year archaeological dig, which will include activities for both locals and visitors. This archaeological exploration will potentially bring the same kind of insights into Roman York as the Coppergate dig gave into Viking Life.

This presentation will be hosted on Zoom and details will be sent to YPS members.

Member’s report

The Eboracum Project is ambitious. Currently awaiting planning permission, it involves a major archaeological dig after the demolition of two ugly post-war office blocks between the Aviva building and Rougier Street – the regeneration of which is long overdue.

The original line of the Roman road is known and a previous dig at the Aviva site showed that significant Roman buildings once stood there, so archaeologists are certain to excavate the buildings rather than their back yards. It will be a deep dig through layers of medieval, Viking and Anglian deposits and will open up a formerly busy lane, lost 150 years ago. There is little doubt that major discoveries are waiting to be found, much of it in good condition owing to the waterlogged soil. Keen to encourage local participation, the Project’s organisers will engage with especially mental health charities, as well as local schools and the wider public.

The Project aims to fill gaps in the Roman history of the city, particularly that of the colonia, the civilian settlement. The dig itself will undoubtedly attract interest and visitors; volunteers will be trained in a new skill; research and educational opportunities in science and archaeology will be enormous; and the impact of a new visitor attraction, like the Yorvik Centre had on the city’s economy through jobs and tourism, will be equally large. And like the Coppergate dig of the mid-1970s, it will arouse interest and pride in the city and emphasise the importance of strategic management of the city’s heritage.

Carole Smith