Northern Ireland

Big dig uncovers Belfast's hidden treasure

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFlint and pieces of pottery have been discovered at the site in west Belfast.

Archaeologists have taken to the Belfast hills in an effort to uncover hidden treasure of bygone years.

The big dig on Divis Mountain has already unearthed flints, pottery and other artefacts - proof, say experts, that life once flourished there.

"We know that there are pre-historic remains here, we find them all over the hills" said National Trust archaeologist Malachy Conway.

"We started finding flints which are probably about 4,000 years old.

"Most people will always associate Divis and Black Mountain with the fact that the land was locked out because it was Ministry of Defence property, but in many ways that actually helped the site because it preserved the archaeology."

Professional and amateur archaeologists will be exploring the fields near the Long Barn Visitor Centre off the Upper Springfield Road during the next few weeks.

Image caption The treasure unearthed from the hills

Members of the public are being invited to come along to join in the dig on Saturday 27 April and Saturday 4 May.

There is no guarantee that "there's gold in them thar hills" but Dr Lizzy Pinkerton, from the Belfast Hills Partnership, said there was a chance.

"I think it's probably quite low but you never know. That's the thing about archaeological digs, you just don't know what you are going to find, that's part of the excitement" she said.

Those involved in organising the dig cannot be sure of finding anything of great significance but the weather can be sure that it will be cold if you are planning on taking part.