The Roman-era city of Carnuntum was recently discovered buried below the Earth’s surface in Austria and a study of it has given some insights into the lives of gladiators.
The Roman-era city of Carnuntum, a center for amber trade and gladiator training, was recently discovered buried below the Earth’s surface in Austria along the banks of the Danube River.
Rather than dig it up, archaeologists opted to utilize modern technology and had the area scanned using aerial surveys and radar.
The map that resulted allowed them to create a model for study, and through an examination of it they learned quite a bit about the lives of gladiators.
In general, gladiator fights were big business, making the participants and the skills they developed highly valuable to those who owned and controlled them.
The men who fought were slaves and prisoners, and the layout of the training school reflects that.
Gladiators at the Carnuntum school numbered about 80 and all of them lived in tight quarters at a single two-story facility.
It and the training areas were contained within walls, and there was only a single entrance to the compound.
Fighting to the death wasn’t the goal among them, but in the event that was the result of battle, there was a graveyard conveniently placed nearby.