Sunday, July 18, 2010

Roman bones reveal brutal gladiator deaths

Gladiators in the arena based on the painting, Pollice Verso, by Jean-leon Gerome
One in three of the skeletons found had one arm at least 5cm longer than the other. This is consistent with the effect of one-sided work from an early age such as regular sword practice. The cleaned up bones on the left are from the skeleton on the right.

Six years ago archaeologists in York unearthed 80 skeletons. Of the 60 or so complete skeletons, many showed signs of a violent death. After years of research the York Archaeological Trust believes that they may have been gladiators.

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