Roman remains unearthed from the site of a former car park in Croydon have sparked speculation that other ancient artefacts could lay undiscovered close by.

Archaeologists say the Roman dumping ground' unearthed during an excavation of a former car park in Lower Coombe Street could be an indication of an occupied settlement nearby, which may be hidden under houses or businesses.

A two-month excavation at the site in Lower Coombe Street, carried out by Pre-Construct Archaeology (PCA) and overseen by English Heritage, uncovered finds dating from the second to fourth centuries AD and is believed by experts to be a rubbish site.

During the dig, a thick layer of pottery and rubble was unearthed containing a small number of precious artefacts including a Roman dress pin and a copper alloy lion's head.

Jo Taylor, senior archaeologist, said: "All the information it had to offer, about the occupation of the area and its use 2,000 years ago, has been recorded and preserved for future generations.

"Although this site was, by and large, a waste pit, it indicates that there was an occupied settlement close by, perhaps now hidden underneath the nearby housing or commercial units.

"We are lucky to have had the opportunity to fully excavate this area which, having been only used as a car park, has known relatively little sub-surface disturbance."

The site is owned by Wandle Housing and has been handed to Mansell Partnership Housing to be redeveloped as affordable housing.

As part of the planning conditions for this development, an excavation was undertaken by PCA which predicted that, based on the history of the site, there was a high probability of archaeological remains.

PCA project manager Tim Bradley said: "In terms of the locality, it is very significant. It provides the first real concrete evidence of Roman settlements in that area."