Gladiatorial past unearthed
Roman vaults found during amphitheatre excavation
By Nuria Pérez THREE Roman vaults have been found during the excavation of Cartagena’s bullring, which was built on top of a Roman amphitheatre.
They were discovered under the bullring, which has preserved them in ‘a very good condition for more than 2,000 years’.
“Archaeologists unearthed a three-metre-wide room in the middle, which is linked up to another two rooms,” explained mayoress Ana Belen Castejón.
She noted that the archaeologists had a good idea that the rooms would be found underneath the arena due to a painting from the 19th century which showed the structures.
“We could not have imagined that the vaults would be in such a good condition,” she said.
The underground rooms were used to house the gladiators and other people before they were ushered into the arena to fight for their lives.
Wild animals were also kept there before and after the shows. Sra Castejón added that there are 18 documented Roman amphitheatres on the Iberian Peninsula ‘but only six of them have archaeological remains’.
“Cartagena is one of only four cities on the Iberian Peninsula with both a Roman theatre and a Roman amphitheatre,” she added.
Sra Castejón announced that guided tours of the amphitheatre will be available over the Christmas period.
These take place on December 14, 15, 21, 22, 26, 27 and 28 and January 2, 3 and 4 at 10.00, 11.00, 12.00 and 13.00.
Up to 30 people can take part in each tour, which lasts for around 45 minutes. Visitors will be able to watch archaeologists working at the site.
Bookings can be made by calling the archaeological museum on 96 812 89 68.
Mayoress Ana Belen Castejón was in awe of the findings
The vaults have been very well preserved