GUIDED tours of an archaeological excavation taking place at an Iron Age hill fort are to be held as part of a public open weekend.

The free tours of the excavation in the North York Moors National Park are on offer on Sunday and Monday, May 29 and 30, at Boltby Scar, near Sutton Bank.

Excavations have taken place on Boltby Scar on at least two occasions in the past, but virtually no information from these activities survives and in 1961 the hill fort was levelled by bulldozer.

The current dig is looking at the condition of the site, including the extent of the 1961 damage, as well as to recover dating and environmental evidence which should help in interpreting the hill fort’s context in the wider landscape.

The area around Sutton Bank was an important site for Iron Age man, with defensive earthworks and another hill fort at Roulston Scar.

The dig is being led by archaeologists from the Landscape Research Centre with help from volunteers and undergraduate archaeology students from York University.

Project officer Jennifer Smith, said: "The current excavation is building on our findings and knowledge from a smaller dig that took place at Boltby Scar in 2009.

"The open day is a great opportunity for people to find out more about who lived in the area 2,500 years ago and to take a rare glimpse behind the scenes of a working archaeological dig."

Tours run at various times throughout the two days but people are advised to book in advance to guarantee a place by calling 01439-772738.

A blog about the dig can be found at