Engineering specialists, Mott Macdonald Bentley, found more than they bargained for whilst carrying out emergency repairs to a sewer in the Toft Green area, in the heart of York. The work, which started early July involved replacing a 120 metre section of damaged Victorian sewer and was originally scheduled to take around 12 weeks.
However, several weeks into the project, workers came across something that caught their eye. Immediately work stopped and a team from Northern Archaeological Associates (NAA), who were on hand throughout the project, swooped in to carry out a detailed study of the site and confirmed the engineers had stumbled upon a Roman mosaic floor, dating back to the 3rd to 4th centuries AD.
It has taken two weeks to remove the section of floor; however, Yorkshire Water, has been closely liaising with York Council to try and minimise disruption to local residents, commuters and businesses as much as possible. Lee Laherty, Yorkshire Water Project Manager comments "Although we knew that the site could have historical significance, this find was a huge stroke of luck and we're delighted that we've been able to remove such a significant artifact. Our work to replace the sewer will now continue and we would like to apologise for any delays to commuters and local businesses".