HISTORICAL treasures from the borough's past were uncovered last week during an archaeological dig in Hendon.

Tools, pottery and bones dating back hundreds of years were discovered during the excavation in the grounds of the Church Farmhouse Museum, in Greyhound Hill.

Experts were joined by school children to dig a trench in the garden of the 350-year-old house with the aim of piecing together information on the area's history.

Many of the finds related to the lives of the families who lived in the building, but artefacts found deeper in the trench pointed to a Saxon presence in the area, with some of the flint tools dated at almost 1000-years-old.

Sarah Dhanjal, who was one of a number of students at the dig from the University College London (UCL) Institute of Archaeology and is also a member of Hendon and District Archaeological Society (HADAS), said modern Hendon may have grown up from a number of Saxon hamlets, but claimed it was important to try to develop an overall picture of the site and not focus on individual items.

She said: “On their own these bits of pottery and stone are not always that useful and they have to be put together with other evidence we have found from other excavations we have done.

“We are not looking for structures of physical buildings but more looking at what the pieces tell us about the people who lived here.”

The dig was also used so pupils from St Mary and St John's Church of England JMI School and St Mary's Church of England secondary school could incorporate practical experience into their history lessons.

Ms Dhanjal said: “For the children it is an a great way of them learning what archaeology is and why we do it.

“It gets them out of the classroom and gives them a very practical way of learning about history without having to talk about dates and specifics.

“When they find something they feel some degree of ownership about it and builds a connection with history.”

As well as the earlier finds, the group also uncovered more modern items such as glass lemonade and milk bottles from the last 100 years, and plastic wrappers from the 80s.

And Ms Dhanjal said archaeology can teach people about how waste was dealt with in the past and highlights lessons for the future.

“The fact we find plastic almost 30 years later shows why we shouldn't just be throwing it away now,” she said.

“This is why we should be responsible with reusing stuff, recycling and waste disposal because a lot of what we find has just been scattered around in the past.”