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Roman gladiator school digitally rebuilt

Imaging tools revive an ancient city’s training facility with no excavation

11:45am, March 13, 2014

This virtual reconstruction of the gladiators’ school shows its courtyard and training arena. 

Without breaking ground, researchers have uncovered the largely complete remains of a nearly 1,900-year-old Roman school for gladiators in what’s now eastern Austria.

Advanced imaging techniques led to the discovery of a training center for these warrior-entertainers at Carnuntum, a Roman city excavated on and off since the late 19th century. The ancient facility lies beneath a field near the remains of an amphitheater that could have held about 13,000 spectators.

Archaeologist Wolfgang Neubauer of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Vienna and colleagues describe the discovery in the March Antiquity.

“This find for the first time gives an impression of how gladiatorial games were organized outside of Rome,” Neubauer says.

The only other gladiators’ school ever found has been partially excavated behind the Coliseum

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