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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 March 2006, 16:00 GMT
Carving of 'northern god' found
Rock art image of Cocidius
The image is thought to be that of Cocidius
A 2000-year-old carving of a so-called "northern god", adopted by the Romans for protection and good luck, has been uncovered in Northumberland.

The 40cm high figure, holding a shield in one hand and spear or sword in the other, was discovered near Chesters Fort on Hadrian's Wall.

Experts say the find is exciting as it helps shed light on how people used local idols for protection.

The carving is thought to be that of Cocidius, a Romano-British warrior god.

Rock art expert Tertia Barnett said: "This is a completely unexpected discovery.

"It shows how much there is still to discover about Northumberland's ancient past."

The carving was uncovered by a team of volunteers looking for prehistoric rock art as part of the Northumberland and Durham rock art project.

The rock has now been covered again to protect it.

Research by the volunteers is on-going.

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