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Coppergate & Jorvik Viking Centre

JORVIK Viking Center

Our knowledge of Viking life was transformed in the late 1970's by the discoveries made on the site of a new shopping centre in Coppergate. 

Digging in the layers of moist, spongy earth, experts from the York Archaeological Trust found it had preserved Viking homes, clothes, games and goods.

The remains of timber buildings were laid out along the street of Coppergate, each separated from its neighbour by fences. 

Archaeologists unearthed remarkable evidence of Viking cottage industry, including metalworking, jewellery making and the craft that gave Coppergate its name – the manufacture of wooden cups and bowls. Coppergate means ‘street of the cup-makers’.

An astonishing 40,000 items were revealed during the excavation between 1979 and 1981.  The most famous of all the finds is undoubtedly The York Helmet, the finest and best preserved piece of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship ever discovered.  

The York Helmet is in the collection of the Yorkshire Museum and the Coppergate site is now home to the JORVIK Viking Centre where  visitors are taken on a journey to the Viking Age city of York.