An archaeological watching brief was undertaken during preliminary works associated with the renovation of York Explore, the City of York Central Library building. In preparation for the works associated with the upstanding library structure, two 1m2 engineering test pits were excavated adjacent to the eastern side of the building and a further two within the library itself. These were monitored under archaeological watching brief conditions. Very limited in scale, the test pits were excavated by hand and machine to a depth of 2.15m outside the library, and up to 1m inside.
The exterior trenches were restricted by the presence of an electricity cable and the foundation cut for the existing library structure. With one exception the deposits not affected by these intrusions seemed to consist wholly of one homogenous deposit of made-ground. At higher level in Trench 2 fragmentary structural remains were encountered, whilst an interesting and valuable assemblage of finds was recovered ex-situ within the made-ground deposit. Artefacts recovered included a carved fragment of bone, a decorated Roman terra sigiliatta (Samian) vessel rim and a fine shard of Roman glassware.