Colosseum dig unearths insights into arena shows

Colosseum sewer dig unearths half-eaten snacks and animal remains

By Region Central Italy Culture News

A new dig at the sewers of the Colosseum gives further insight into the snacks eaten, and the animals killed during shows.

The latest archaeological dig in the Colosseum sewers yielded half-chewed morsels of the snacks eaten by spectators. It also yielded animal bones.

Among the tidbits found are pieces of barbecued meat, pizza, vegetables and fruit.

Spectators often watched gladiators fight to the death and animals being hunted down. Among the animal bones unearthed are those of lions, leopards, bears, and dogs including even tiny dachsunds. The animals were forced to fight each other or were killed by hunters in ‘venationes’. These spectacles, which would now be considered horrendous, delighted the Roman people for so many centuries.

Coins also found

Coins have also been found, including a sesterce issued with the head of Marcus Aurelius. According to archaeologist and numismatics expert Francesca Ceci, the coin was issued on the 10th anniversary (170-171 AD) of the philosopher emperor to augur 10 more years of happy rule.

“With a flight of fancy,” Ceci told reporters, “we can imagine the shiny coins thrown into the crowd. And one of these, our sesterce, then fell onto the sand of the arena and was swept away along with the blood of men and animals”.

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