York Archaeology becomes the new name for treasured charity

York Archaeology's community engagement team showing some finds to an open day visitor

One of York’s best-known charities is set to change its name; York Archaeology is the new trading name for York Archaeological Trust, the charity responsible for major archaeological excavations across the city, including the Coppergate Dig, which gave rise to its world-renowned attraction, JORVIK Viking Centre.

The change will happen as York Archaeological Trust’s 50th anniversary year comes to a close at the end of September, and is set to launch the charity into its next 50 years.

The name York Archaeology has been used for the last two years for the organisation’s commercial archaeology work, but will now be adopted as the umbrella brand spanning the whole of the charity’s work, from visitor attractions to learning and community engagement.

Chief Executive David Jennings explains the reason for the change: “50 years ago, we were established as an archaeological exploration unit, and it wasn’t until the Coppergate Dig that we started to fully appreciate the public interest in our work.  We pioneered new ways of engaging with our new audience with the creation of JORVIK Viking Centre – an attraction that interpreted the archaeology we uncovered.  In the last 40 years, both divisions have grown in their own rights, as we increased the number of attractions we run, and acquired archaeological organisations like Trent & Peak Archaeology in Nottingham and ArcHeritage in Sheffield. 

“However, now we’ve come back full circle, with a vision to pioneer new ways for people to enjoy and benefit from archaeology, whether that is through Archaeology on Prescription which uses real excavations to support mental health and combat social isolation, or in new archaeology-based attractions. 

“We want our clients to understand the breadth of the work that we do, so that they start to share our enthusiasm for getting the most out of every hole that we dig – physically and metaphorically – to help the wider population to discover, explore and experience their local archaeology.”

A brand new website has been created to help visitors easily navigate their way through the different strands of York Archaeology’s work: commercial archaeology, attractions, learning, community, research and touring exhibitions. 

“We’re very excited to have marked such a significant milestone – 50 years of operation – and still have an incredibly clear vision for where we want to be in the next 50,” comments Chair of Trustees, Professor Anthony Robards.  “We are confident that our new York Archaeology brand will become synonymous with the quality, experience and ambition that has brought us this far.”

York Archaeology operates from offices in Nottingham, Sheffield, York and Glasgow.  For more information, please visit yorkarchaeology.co.uk