From 24dash:

A Roman settlement has been unearthed by a water company laying pipelines.

The civilian settlement in Cumbria is believed to date to the first century AD and includes the remains of timber buildings and cobbled streets.

The discovery was made by United Utilities engineers during excavations for a sewage pipeline near Penrith in October.

Archaeologists believe the settlement was attached to a fort and used to house soldiers' families and local market traders.

Researchers have discovered jewellery including jade beads and copper alloy buckles at the site, along with a large quantity of gaming counters and drinking vessels.

Alison Plummer from Oxford Archaeology, who led the excavation team, said: "The pipeline route is close to an existing Roman fort and graveyard, so we knew there was the chance of a significant find.

"Within days of removing the topsoil, it was clear that we had hit upon something very important indeed.

"This settlement would have been used by the unofficial wives and children of soldiers in the nearby fort, along with traders and craftspeople. The discovery offers some enticing clues as to how our ancient ancestors spent the cold Cumbrian evenings.

"The beautiful and ornate jewellery also indicates that people took a lot of care over their appearance. These items are likely to have been worn by women of considerable social standing."

Melvin Dawson, from United Utilities, said: "The ancient Romans were pioneers in sanitation, so it's perhaps fitting that this discovery was made during a sewage pipeline project. The find has caused a lot of excitement among the engineering team."

The site has now been excavated and the recovered artefacts will be exhibited at Brougham Hall, south of Penrith, on 21 and 22 November.

Work will recommence on the sewage pipeline in the next year.