Gla­di­a­to­rial past un­earthed

Ro­man vaults found dur­ing am­phithe­atre ex­ca­va­tion

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Front Page - [email protected]­

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

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