Children bring North treasures to light

Youngsters have been digging deep as part of the bid to win a third world heritage site for the North-East.

Youngsters have been digging deep as part of the bid to win a third world heritage site for the North-East.

The twin Anglo-Saxon monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow, where the Venerable Bede lived and worked, is to be the UK's nomination for World Heritage Site status in 2009, to add to Hadrian's Wall and Durham Cathedral and Castle.

An aim is to involve local communities in the bid, and 15 pupils from the Venerable Bede School in Sunderland decided to explore the importance of Wearmouth-Jarrow.

In a project coordinated by Bede's World youth outreach officer Pearl Saddington they embarked on a series of archaeological activities.

And at the weekend, they completed a week-long dig at Drewett's Park in Jarrow, next to both Bede's World and 7th Century St Paul's Church.

Working with Durham University's Archaeological Services, they unearthed finds of pottery and bone.

"The site of the dig had been monastic land and the finds will now be examined and dated at the university," Pearl said.

Earlier, the university provided a programme of activities to give the youngsters a taste of all aspects of archaeology, including lessons in geophysics.

They visited the university's Archaeological Department to discover more about what happens to finds when they arrive for identification.

The pupils then visited The Jorvik Centre and The Dig at York to see how archaeology can be interpreted.

The final stage of the project will involve the students working with Bede's World staff to stage a small exhibition.

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