The back garden of quiet suburban home has been turned upside down...in the hunt for precious Roman remains.
A project has got under way in which is hoped could help uncover the secrets of South Yorkshire’s Roman past.
Andrew Allen has already found a number of pottery shards in the soil behind his home, arousing the interest of archaeologists. Now a full scale excavation of the site has begun at the house on Toll Bar Road, Swinton, Rotherham, after the public came forward with £2,659 to fund the project.
More than 100 people from all over the UK have backed the project, along with several people from North American and Japan.
Elmet Archaeological Services is in charge of the project and those pledging money were able to buy rewards from the ‘crowdfunding’ page, including mugs, T-shirts and even a chance to join in with the excavation.
Andrew, aged 30, has already found 90 fragments of pottery, including high status items such as Samien, cooking wares and rusticated pottery, as well as possible glass and metal working waste products.
He said: “It’s really, really exciting to think that you get up every morning to find what I would describe as Time Team Live in your back garden.
“It’s amazing and I would never have dreamed the things that have been found in my garden.”
Dr Lauren McIntyre, of Elmet Archaeological Services, who is charge of the project, said: “We’re absolutely blown away by the amount of public support for this project.
“It’s clear people from the local area, other parts of the UK and much further afield are interested to find out what was happening in Swinton during the Roman period.
“This is a great opportunity to put Roman Swinton on the archaeological map.”