From the Press:

AN ARCHAEOLOGY student struck lucky when he began digging the garden of his new home - and discovered ancient Roman remains.

Chris Bevan had no idea that a historic find was lurking inches beneath his feet when he moved into the house at Holme-on-Spalding Moor.

Now he and his fellow University of York students are using their spare time to carry out a survey of the garden in High Street and a neighbouring field where the ancient pottery was unearthed.

"I bought the house in July and was just doing some gardening when I found a Roman pot and some Medieval green glaze pottery," says Chris, 24, who is a second year archaeology undergraduate.

"I immediately knew what it was and was obviously excited. There have been quite a few finds of this type in the Holme-on-Spalding Moor area, but I never expected to find something like this in my garden. It's a real coincidence when you consider the subject I'm studying.

"It looks like I made a good choice when I decided to move here!"

Chris and his fellow students have taken the unusual step in archaeology circles of inviting a metal-detecting club to help them sweep the garden and field.

"It's a way of doing things which is almost unheard of, because there has always been a level of mistrust between the archaeological and metal-detecting communities," he said.

"Unfortunately, archaeologists think metal-detecting is done by people purely after making a profit, while metal-detectorists often believe archaeology doesn't let people near important sites.

"We're hoping to break this down and show what can be achieved by a new generation of archaeologists taking opportunities such as using metal detectors rather than avoiding them. By doing this, we've already discovered fragments of Roman coins and other remains, and we hope there are even more still waiting to be found.

"We're having to fit in the work around our studies, but the university has been extremely supportive and has agreed to lend us equipment to help do it."

The archaeology group hope to complete their survey this weekend, and it will be followed by several months of painstaking analysis of the find.

Holme-on-Spalding Moor has a history of historic discoveries - in the 1980s, an Iron Age boat was excavated on the banks of the River Foulness at nearby Hasholme.