Officers and private contractors are excavating an area of land off Stockbridge Lane, Bentley, with the work estimated to take a number of days.
Details of what officers are searching for have not yet been revealed but police tents have been erected on the site.
Police chiefs said the land excavation forms part of an investigation into 'possible historic criminal activity in the area'.
A force spokeswoman said: "South Yorkshire Police has executed a warrant to excavate a piece of land in Bentley, Doncaster, as part of an investigation into possible historic criminal activity in the area.
"Police officers will work together with private contractors to conduct a methodical and detailed search of the land, which could take a number of days to complete.
"South Yorkshire Police would like to hear from anyone who may have information relevant to this investigation by calling 101, or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."