Archaeology breakthrough as stunning 1,700-year-old Roman gladiator arena found

Digging for Britain: Professor Alice Roberts looks at Roman busts

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The discovery was made in Switzerland and it could be the youngest amphitheatre ever discovered. The arenas were used across the empire to show gladiator fights and animal hunts. This oval-shaped one is believed to have been built in an abandoned Roman quarry.

This clue, along with a coin discovered that dates between 337 and 341AD, indicates that it could be the youngest amphitheatre in the Roman Empire.

A few other clues point to a fourth-century AD date., archaeologist Jakob Baerlocher revealed.

These include the composition of the amphitheatre’s building materials, such as its stone blocks and mortar, which are “reminiscent of that of the late antique fort wall”.

The discovery was made by experts while monitoring construction work for a new boathouse on the Rhine River in December.

The find, made in Kaiseraugst, a municipality named for the ancient Roman city of Augusta Raurica, was announced by the Department of Education, Culture and Sport in the Swiss canton of Aargau.

It is the third Roman amphitheatre discovered in the area.

The amphitheatre, which is about 164 feet (50 meters) long and 131 feet (40 m) wide, sits in the valley of the quarry.

Archaeologists unearthed a large gate to the south of the amphitheatre and to the south they found a preserved sandstone block.

The inside arena walls were plastered, and the imprint of a post from wooden grandstands, or seats, was also visible.

A statement said: “All the evidence together — the oval, the entrances and the post-placement for a tribune [elected official] — speak for the interpretation as an amphitheatre.”

But it is not particularly rare to find a Roman arena.

In spring 2021, for instance, archaeologists in Turkey announced the discovery of a Roman amphitheatre that could have seated up to 20,000 spectators,

It comes after experts in the UK made their own archaeological breakthrough.

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A giant bluestone was discovered in Wales that appears to match that of Stonehenge.

It suggests that the Irish Sea Glacier was once capable of carrying large monoliths of dolerite rock from Pembrokeshire up the Bristol Channel towards Wiltshire.

Glacial geomorphologist Dr Brian John told that it was the “smoking gun” evidence to prove this theory.

He added: “Many said glacier transport was impossible and so human transport is the only explanation.

“It’s been very difficult to argue one way or another.

“But I think now we’ve found this erratic, it demonstrates 100 percent that the ice was capable of carrying large rocks over large distances.”

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