Gladiator Cemetery Discovered in the UK

June 8, 2010

A very ancient sport of sorts that was very prevalent in Rome, is getting some attention after a burial ground was found. A gladiator cemetery was discovered and it may be the only well preserved one in the entire world! Read more of the details below, with some great photos and video.

Gladiator 1

The finding was made in the town of York, in England, where around 80 male skeletons are all in very good condition (minus the obvious beating they took). Originally they were thought to be soldiers, but further research has shown that they were most likely brought to Britain to fight for show.

Further looks in the gladiator cemetery shows that decapitation seemed to be the most prevalent cause of death, though the injuries are quite varied. The major thing that led to the conclusion that these men were not soldiers was the fact that many had bite marks that were “probably inflicted by a lion, tiger or bear.” This archaeologists say, must have then occurred in an arena setting, which would prove their theory.

All of this is still under examination and more will be proven or disproven as time goes on. What is really exciting though is the great condition of the fossils, which allows those studying the former athletes to get great insight into their lives.

“These are internationally important discoveries. We don’t have any other potential gladiator cemeteries with this level of preservation anywhere else in the world,” said Michael Wysocki, one examiner of the remains.

Competitions with these competitors took place in large arenas or amphitheatres and were very violent and bloody matches. Original matches were to the death, but as time went on they didn’t always necessarily end tragically. Audiences would come from all over to watch, but many would get sick and leave.

Sounds too brutal for me! Sports have come a long way since then, or at least entertainment has. It is very interesting to have this gladiator cemetery discovered, so we can learn more about the history of our world. What do you think of this find and the sport in general? Leave me your comments and check out these photos and video of our modern day interpretation.

Gladiator 2Gladiator 3Gladiator 1 1

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