Archaeologists first began work at the Wanuskewin Heritage Park north of Saskatoon in 1982.

The site represents the longest continuously running dig of its kind in Canada.

Monday, a group of 12 students from the University of Saskatchewan became the latest in a long line of explorers to learn about the area that was inhabited more than 500 years ago.

Ernie Walker, an archaeology professor at the U of S, said that an ancient encampment exists beneath the surface.

"It's totally intact," Walker said.

He added that the current group is looking at the ninth out of 19 such locations.

Devon Hackett, a fourth-year student involved in the project, said the experience is thrilling.

"It's kind of like Christmas," Hackett said. "Personally, I found a few things, some bone fragments. So I'm really excited about that and trying to see if I can find some more Christmas presents under that tree."

The group of students are set to dig at the Wanuskewin site for the next five weeks.