Institute of Archaeology


Hendon School Community Archaeology Project

Since 2006 the Hendon School Community Archaeology Project has been run by Sarah Dhanjal and Gabriel Moshenska of UCL, together with Don Cooper of Hendon and District Archaeological Society (HADAS), and Jill Hickman of Hendon School. The project aims to provide students at Hendon School with the opportunity to learn about and experience archaeology in their own school grounds, through a combination of classroom-based learning and a field school. Over the first five years of the project several hundred students from the school have taken part, and some have returned year after year to review and develop the archaeological skills they have obtained.

The fieldwork element of the project takes place on the school playing field, the site of an ornamental garden connected to a sixteenth century house belonging to John Norden, cartographer to Elizabeth I. Over the years a modest amount of material relating to the archaeology of the site has been uncovered, and in 2010 a very large assemblage of late-Anglo Saxon ceramics was discovered. Students from the school who have completed the field school have taken part in other community archaeology projects in the area.

The project runs on very minimal costs, with all participants giving their time voluntarily, and equipment provided by HADAS. For this reason the project has run in a sustainable manner for several years, and looks likely to continue. This is unusual in community archaeology initiatives in the UK, which tend to rely on time-limited external funding.

Feedback from the participants, parents and the school has been extremely positive throughout the project, and it has received coverage in local media as well as visits from school governors and the local MP. The Hendon School Community Archaeology Project was cited in Sarah Dhanjal’s receipt of the 2009 Marsh Archaeology Award for archaeological education.

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