Pieces of rusted door hinges, roofing nails, stone walls and slate pencils are artefacts providing clues about a forgotten school in Googong.
Archaeologists have unearthed a 19th-century schoolhouse on land set to be developed as the newly constructed township expands.
In a search for lost local history, archaeologists, university students and even primary schoolers are working together at a dig site in Googong.
Navin Officer Heritage Consultants excavation director Dr Rebecca Parkes said there were very few historical records about the site and the project was an example of how archaeology could fill in the blanks.
"One of the beauties of archaeology is that it can tell the story that history doesn't, and about all the people that history forgets, the everyday people," she said.
"We have a stone fireplace and flagging stones where we think the door was. We don't have much more so the lack of evidence suggests it was a timber building."
Teams had little more than the name of the historical landowner, James Brown, and a few newspaper clippings before digging began.
The project is part of the environmental and heritage survey works being undertaken by Googong township developers Peet Limited and Mirvac.
Along with studying features of the area's pastoral history the dig includes several sites of indigenous significance.
Australian National University (ANU) first year archaeology student Angus Harden undertook his first fieldwork as part of the five-week excavation, putting his tertiary studies into practice.
More than 100 primary school students from three different schools have learned about the fundamentals of archaeology during on site excursions.
Dr Parkes said artefacts would be removed for preservation after the are was mapped in detail.
And there's a plan to create an activity pack in partnership with The Anglican School Googong and Queanbeyan Museum, so the once lost local history can be used as an education resource into the future.
"We want to make sure the legacy of the heritage is carried on in the suburb," she said.
"We can put together a package of things you can do with the artefacts and that will be made accessible to other schools in the area."
Once the trowels, brushes and shovels are put away the public is invited to take a look at the site during an open day to be held on June 24.
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