In 1968 Dublin Corporation announced plans to build civic offices on a four acre site on Wood Quay.

When the National Museum embarked on an extensive excavation of a portion of Old Dublin at High Street in 1967, Raidió Teilifís Éireann was enlisted to document the work on film.
This was the first time that an Irish excavation received such interest from television cameras. The result was 'Anthology', a film providing viewers with an insight into some of the interesting discoveries found at High Street and Winetavern Street.

As the Wood Quay site was in the same general area as an existing excavation on High Street, the possibility of finding valuable historical finds there was high. The National Museum made a request to excavate the site before the building began, and permission was granted by the corporation. In January 1969 trial cuttings were made to establish the nature of the site.

The similarities between High Street and Wood Quay soon became apparent. The site at Winetavern Street was found to have the same preservative qualities as the site at High Street. As the excavations continued, the story of Viking life became more and more apparent. Evidence of woodwork and carpentry helped piece together a picture of life in Viking Dublin.