Skeletons Mark Historic Gladiator Graveyard
York remains show evidence of lion bites
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2010 3:39 AM CDT
Rome - Roman Coliseum Arch   (©David Paul Ohmer)

(Newser) – Scientists have determined that a puzzling collection of skeletons discovered in England is the best-preserved Roman gladiator graveyard ever found. Lion bites, headless corpses and hammer marks on skulls are clues that the 80 skeletons found over a decade were gladiators buried in York, which was a Roman provincial capital some 1800 years ago. The men were young and well developed with notably stronger muscles in the right arm, a condition in slaves trained from childhood to fight in the arena, notes the Guardian.

"Anthropologically speaking, the material is particularly significant because it includes such a broad spectrum of healed and unhealed injuries associated with violence," said a forensic anthropologist who has tested some of the remains. "Nothing like the bite marks has ever been identified before on a Roman skeleton." Some of the men were apparently buried with gifts for the afterlife as the best gladiators were honored much like today's top athletes.

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Skeletons Mark Historic Gladiator Graveyard is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 3 comments
Jun 7, 2010 1:25 PM CDT
Wake me up when they find a minotaur skeleton. Oh shit, that's Greece.
Jun 7, 2010 12:06 PM CDT
What about Russell Crowe? did they find his bones? Oh wait, that was in Rome. Nevermind.
Jun 7, 2010 11:10 AM CDT
Did they find albatross bones nearby?