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Theme - Eoforwic: A celebration of Anglo-Saxon York

In York we are surrounded by reminders of the Roman and Viking past. Anglo-Saxon York, or Eoforwic, is far less visible in the city today than Roman Eboracum or Danish Jorvik. But the Anglian era of the city’s history, between the Roman occupation and the Viking conquest, lasted for longer than those two eras put together. It left a far reaching cultural legacy. This year the Eoforwic strand in the Festival of Ideas will include events that can shed new light on the latest discoveries about Anglian York.

The York Helmet: Biography of an iconic object

14 June, 2pm, Yorkshire Museum

The York helmet is perhaps York’s most well-known Anglian object, but what do we really know about it? This talk uncovers how, through its examination and conservation, the fascinating story of the helmet, from its manufacture in the 8th century to its discovery in 1982, was pieced together.

Admission: Museum entry £7.50, concessions £6.50, under-16s and York Card Holders free


The Synod of Whitby (664) and its ramifications in Northumbria

17 June, 7pm, St Helen's Church

The seventh century was a crucial period for the formation of the Christian kingdom of Northumbria. The second half of that century was also a period of controversy, although that is partially masked by Bede's account. In this lecture we will be exploring the significant issues at stake that lay behind the seemingly arcane debate about whether Irish/British or Continental Easter practice should be followed. These issues had a bearing on such important topics as the relationship of Deira to Bernicia and the creation of a unified kingdom of Northumbria, and on the question of whether or not continuity with the Christianity of the Irish missionaries and continuing British communities should be pursued, and what the repercussions were.

Admission: Free, ticketed


York's awkward Angles

18 June, 7pm, Jorvik Centre

What happened in York between the decline of the Roman city and the arrival of the Viking raiders? Archaeology can tell us – and new discoveries are provoking new thinking about the rebirth of this historic town. Join archaeologist, Ailsa Mainman from YAT as she takes us on a journey through this forgotten time.

Admission: £6, concessions £5


‘King of all Britain’: New light on King Athelstan

19 June, 6pm, Ron Cooke Hub, University of York

When Alfred the Great’s grandson, Athelstan, occupied York in 927 he became the first king of  all the English. In a talk richly illustrated from the king’s own manuscripts, and a clip from a new TV documentary, Michael Wood offers some clues towards an Anglo-Saxon royal biography with a special focus on the king’s relations with the Northumbrians-and a new Yorkshire location for the ‘Great War’ of the tenth century, the Battle of Brunanburh.

Admission: Free, ticketed


Early years sessions at DIG

15-16, 22-23 June, DIG

Events for children under 5 years.

15 and 16 JuneThe Frozen North – Have fun with tales and toys on a chilly theme in our early years area, with a chance to dig and discover.

22 and 23 JuneThe Sunny South – The sun is shining so come and play – stories and toys in our early years area, with a chance to dig and discover.

Admission: £3 per child


Minster of Mystery

25 June, 6pm, York Minster

Join us to find out how recent excavations beneath the cathedral have developed ideas based on earlier archaeological work. Ian Milstead, Field Officer at YAT who directed the recent excavations at York Minster, will reveal more of York’s landscape before the Minster was built.

Admission: £10 per person


‘It’s a building and a boat’- Some new discoveries from the Hungate Excavation

27 June, 7pm, DIG

In 2008, excavations on Hungate uncovered the remains of an Anglo-Scandinavian building of a well-known York type from around the 10th to 11th century. However, analysis of the timbers shows that it incorporates planking from a ship of non-Viking origin. Steve Allen, Archaeological Wood Technologist at YAT, will discuss this important evidence and what it tells us.

Admission: £5 adults, £4 concessions


Fulford tapestry

17-29 June, St Helen's Church

Fulford was the site of the first battle of 1066 that would spell the end of Anglo-Saxon rule.  As the battle site could not be found the battle has been marked by creating a tapestry like the Bayeux Tapestry. It is not clear why these northern events are not part of our national consciousness. Perhaps the Fulford Tapestry will help to rectify this omission; it might be the only memorial to the first battle of 1066.

Admission: Free


Looking back at Hungate

13-29 June, DIG

From 2006 to 2011 a team of archaeologists from YAT investigated the Hungate area of York as part of the regeneration of an often overlooked corner of the city. Artefacts discovered on the site help to tell the story of how people used this low-lying parcel of land over the last 2,000 years.

Admission: £5.50, concessions and children £5


Celtic worship

17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29 June, 12pm, St Helen's Church

Drawing on the treasures of the Celtic Christian tradition, this is an opportunity to participate in the forms of worship which predominated in York when it was the capital of the kingdom of Deira in Northumbria, and before the synod of Whitby in 664 determined that England should follow the traditions of the Roman Church.

Admission: Free, unticketed