Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
LONDON (Reuters) - Archaeologists believe they may have found the world’s best-preserved gladiator cemetery after noticing animal bite marks and combat injuries on some of the 80, mainly headless, Roman skeletons unearthed at a site in the city of York in northern England.
“At present our lead theory is that many of these skeletons are those of Roman gladiators,” said Kurt Hunter-Mann of York Archaeological Trust, who is leading the excavations.
Forensic anthropologist at the University of Central Lancashire, Michael Wysocki, who examined the remains, called the find an internationally significant discovery.
“We don’t have any other potential gladiator cemeteries with this level of preservation anywhere else in the world,” he said.
“One of the most significant items of evidence is a large carnivore bite mark – probably inflicted by a lion, tiger or bear – an injury which must have been sustained in an arena context,” Hunter-Mann said.
“It would seem highly unlikely that this individual was attacked by a tiger as he was walking home from the pub in York 2000 years ago,” he said.
Ah, the British sense of humour!
Who knew there were gladiators in Britain?
Were they the minor leagues – did draft picks go on to the Colosseum?