People we support at the Boot Shop in Easingwold, York got their hands dirty and took part in a two day archaeological dig in September and October.

They discovered that the area, in North Duffield, was actually used for several hundreds of years from the Iron Age into the Medieval period because of a variety of items found from both civilisations during the dig. They also uncovered a Roman Road that used to link to York.

There were many pieces of pottery that were found, including items that came from several different time periods, including the Iron Age, Roman Age and Medieval period.

People we support also got the chance to spend time in a reconstructed round house to help them experience and understand what had been on the site in the past.

The dig will be followed by eight weeks of classroom and locally based sessions run by archaeologists Brian and Jon from the North Duffield Society, as well as historical walks around the area.

How did the Boot Shop get involved with the dig?

Brian Elsey, the Archaeology Co-ordinator who led the dig, always wanted the projects he worked onto be inclusive. “I wanted many people to get involved in Archaeology. I’ve worked with many groups which provided services for people with disabilities.” He found out about United Response through a newspaper article and contacted Julia, the Boot Shop Service Manager, to arrange the dig.

Did people enjoy it?

People we support enjoyed making the discoveries and said they would like to do more archaeology in the future. “The dig was very rewarding. You meet a lot of nice people and you discover a lot of exciting things,” said Brian.

Others are looking forward to pursuing more archaeology in their lives. Francis (pictured above), said: “I enjoyed digging at the site and I would love to do it again.”

For some, it made them feel like a different person altogether. Digby said: “Doing the dig made me feel like I was Indiana Jones.”

A very successful dig

It was a very successful dig and the group from the Boot Shop are looking forward to doing more archaeology in the future.

Written by Kate Calvert from URTEC, York

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