Their ages range from nine to about 80. They include a butcher and a builder. Some devoted vacation days to labouring on their hands and knees in an open field.
The group of amateur archaeologists — 55 in all, though only two dozen toiled on a typical day — were part of an excavation project near the village of Boxford, in southern England. They had to contend not just with days of backbreaking work, but also with a daunting, two-week deadline to complete the challenging dig.
Their commitment was handsomely repaid, though, in a few magical moments one Saturday last month. As a layer of soil was carefully scooped away, small, muddy pieces of red-colored tiling glinted in the sunlight, probably for the first time in more than one and a half millenniums. Read more