Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ruins reveal how Roman gladiators won their spurs

Archaeologists using sophisticated radar equipment say they have located a remarkably well-preserved underground Roman gladiator school that will give them "sensational" new insights into the lives of the fighters 1,700 years ago.

The site, 24 miles east of Vienna, contains the remains of a heated training hall for combatants. It was discovered beneath the former Roman settlement of Carnuntum, which is already home to one the finest amphitheatres ever found. Archaeologists say it is the first gladiator school ever found outside Italy.

Frank Humer, an archaeologist with Vienna's Ludwig-Boltzmann Institute, which found the school while conducting a detailed radar scan of the site, said: "The wooden post that gladiators traditionally used as their mock opponent during training is still visible in the middle of the school's arena."

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