Ancient discoveries have been unearthed by a team of archaeologists on the outskirts of Cockermouth.

Coins, pottery and a bust have recently been found. The nine-strong team of experts will soon start work on a new section where they think may be a religious sanctuary.

Times and Star: Some of the Samian ware which has been found and on show at the open eventSome of the Samian ware which has been found and on show at the open event (Image: Supplied)

An open day was held yesterday for the team from Ecus, Barnard Castle, to share their findings with members of the public.

They have been working on land behind the Lakes Home Centre for six weeks and uncovered remains of an ancient community.

In the first few weeks they discovered evidence of a Roman foundry, marching camp and small village, said landowner Bob Slack.

Times and Star: Landowner Bob Slack and archaeologist Eddie Dougherty on the siteLandowner Bob Slack and archaeologist Eddie Dougherty on the site (Image: Supplied)

More recently they have discovered a bust, coins and pottery.

Ecus technical director Andy Crowson said: "They recently started working on the south west corner of the site, close to the road.

"They found evidence of a Roman road which appears to be running towards a bridge head to cross the River Derwent."

They have also found evidence of house plots.

"In the next two or three weeks they will be working on the very edge of the site where they think there may be a religious sanctuary.

"They might find more figurines, objects people used in private prayer and worship."

A bust modelled in the form of a deity is not thought to be a religious icon. "Colleagues think it's a steelyard weight," said Andy.

"Most of the pottery seems to be Samian ware, it's always red and considered to be fine tableware, often depicting various scenes."

The Ecus team was called in by Mr Slack who is keen to put some flood defences in the area.

"Planning will be subject to an archaeological dig so hopefully by arranging the dig it will speed up the process when applying for planning permission," said Mr Slack.

A geographical survey of the eight to 10 acre site was carried out to identify what is underground and which areas to excavate.

Mechanical diggers were then brought in to remove the top and sub soil.

Since then archaeologists have been meticulously examining various areas.

"It's gone extremely well and we've been fortunate with the weather," said Mr Slack.

"They had an idea what they were going to find from the geophysical survey which had been carried out."

The team will create three types of record: drawn, photographic and written/ digital.

Once everything has been recorded the area will be covered with soil and reseeded.

The land is in a flood zone so cannot be developed. Mr Slack has planning permission for 27 homes adjacent to the Lovells development on Low Road.