An Iron Age community has been found at Oxford United's former football ground.

Archaeologists believe pottery found at the Cuckoo Lane end of the Manor Ground, in Headington, could date back to 1BC.

The artefacts will be cleaned, recorded and analysed by specialists before they are given to Oxfordshire Museum, in Park Street.

John Moore Heritage Services were asked to investigate the site by developer Bellway Homes and Oxford's Acland Hospital owner Nuffield Hospitals, which are building on the London Road site.

Director John Moore said: "At the top end of the ground there's a rise and it was thought during a preliminary survey that there must have been a settlement up there.

"We did find a lot of pottery dating back to the Romano British period. There would have been local inhabitants of the area living there -- probably in an extended family group farming and selling supplies to the local pottery industry.

"Unfortunately, the site is sandy so any ditches or trenches have been eroded away and we can't tell how many buildings were there."

Mr Moore said the settlement went further north, extending past the Manor Ground towards the John Radcliffe Hospital.

He said: "A huge part of this settlement is still out there. Presumably there will be a burial site somewhere in the area."

The pots will be handed over to Oxfordshire Museum in three or four months' time, once Mr Moore and his team have completed their report.

It has already been identified that they were made in the area, where Oxford played host to the fourth largest Roman pottery industry in England during the Romano British period.

The archaeologists started their survey of the Manor Ground at the beginning of July, before the developers start building a new private hospital and 87 flats on the site.

Bellway Homes and Nuffield Hospitals bought the site for £12m from Oxford United chairman Firoz Kassam, and were ordered to carry out an archeological survey by the Planning Inspectorate, as part of the building conditions.