Excavating, conserving and display of timbers

In 2008, a trench in the NW corner of the Hungate H2 area exposed the remains of a Viking-age building.

Like the contemporary buildings at 16-22 Coppergate, this was a rectangular pit lined with planks supported by posts. Evidence suggests the western end was rebuilt. The vulnerable exposed timbers were lifted that year and the rest of the building excavated in September 2009 in sequence with the rest of the site.

The oak posts are local to Yorkshire. Dendrochronology by Ian Tyers gives us felling dates of summer AD965; the building was put up in that year- and was repaired in AD969. Examination of the timbers shows that the oak planks had been reused. They were originally part of the hull of a small/medium sized clinker built ship. While Scandinavian inspired clinker ships were fastened together with iron nails, this ship utilised wooden pegs instead. This technology comes not from Scandinavia but from the north European coast and south east England. The planks, and therefore the boat itself, came from South east England, and had therefore made at least one voyage from there to York.