Archaeologists find remains of Roman South Yorkshire during crowdfunded back garden dig

By Ben Miller | 14 October 2014

The first crowdfunded archaeological investigation in South Yorkshire has uncovered a range of Roman artefacts and features

A photo of a hand holding a dark brown remnant of Roman pottery covered in soil
Archaeologists say the first crowdfunded archaeological dig in South Yorkshire has been an initial success© Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd
A crowdfunded quest to find traces of Roman South Yorkshire in a back garden has revealed a deep ditch, pottery and post holes in a test trench inspected by seven members of the public who backed an appeal by archaeologists.

A photo of a deep archaeological trench dug into brown soil beneath grass with sticks
Archaeologists were originally alerted to the site in June 2014© Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd
Thanking dozens of individual supporters and backers including BBC Look North and newspapers in nearby Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield, Elmet Archaeology have declared their week-long dig at the home of Andrew Allen, in Swinton, a “huge success”. The crowdfunding bid raised almost £2,700.

“In the bottom of the ditch we found a large amount of Roman pottery which appeared to be dated to the 1st century AD,” says Alex Sotheran, the Archaeology Manager of the company, describing a trench measuring five metres by three metres.

“This measured about 1.5 metres deep and ran across Andrew's garden from the north to the south.

“This ditch was probably used as a boundary ditch or cattle enclosure and was cut through the natural sandstone bedrock.

“Other features in the trench included several post holes of unknown use. One of these produced some Roman pottery fragments.

“It appears that the garden has remains dating to the Roman period. The work adds to our knowledge of Roman South Yorkshire, although this was only an evaluation trench.”

The volunteer donators played their part under expert supervision, having been given the chance to join in as one of the rewards offered by the first crowdfunding archaeology campaign in the region.

Specialists will analyse the finds while a full report on the excavation is compiled.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

A photo of people carrying out an archaeological dig in a deep brown garden trench
A second, larger community project could be carried out by the team© Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd
A photo of a group of people standing around a deep brown archaeological garden pit
Seven donators helped the project© Elmet Archaeological Services Ltd
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I wish you'd come and do something similar in Harthill with Woodall. Lots of interesting archaeological features here including finds of Roman coins.
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