York school pupils have discovered history dating back 1,500 years on their doorstep.
Pupils from Fishergate Primary explored an exciting archaeological dig taking place just across the road from their school today (Thursday).
A team from York Archaeology showed them the latest finds from the excavations at the former Mecca Bingo site.
The site is being excavated ahead of the construction of a 275-bed student accommodation block. Archaeologists have made some exciting discoveries dating back to the Anglian period – between the departure of the Romans in around AD400 and the arrival of the Vikings 450 years later.
“Previous excavations along Fishergate, including the site where the Novotel now stands, have revealed some fascinating things about York’s history, and this site has done the same,” said York Archaeology regional manager Dr Paul Flintoft.
“We have identified significant early medieval remains, as well as features of interest that we believe relate to the Anglian wic.”
A wic was an Anglian trading post, traditionally found by the coast or on major rivers.
Unlike larger settlements, which would have featured a church or a high-status house, a wic was entirely focused on trade.
Strong links to northern Gaul (France) and the Rhineland continued even after the fall of the Roman empire.
“So far, we have identified a well that’s about 1,500 years old and contains preserved waterlogged remains and large rubbish pits that contain pottery, the remains of animals that inform us about the economic activities of the wider environs, and metal and bone implements,” adds Paul.
The pupils from Fishergate Primary got a preview of the artefacts ahead of public open days next week (30 October to 3 November).
The week includes free tours of the site, which will reveal parts of the original Gilbertine Priory of St Andrew and the 20th century Rialto Cinema.
With limited places available for each tour, prebooking is necessary – book here.