Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Roman gladiator school situated in Austria. The school contains remains of the training arena, cell blocks and Roman baths among many others.
The buried remnants of the school at the Carnuntum, close to Vienna, were detected through remote-sensing techniques and not through manual excavations.
For more than a century, archaeologists have been studying Carnuntum located on the south bank of the River Danube. During a previous excavation, at an ancient military city, archaeologists recovered remnants of a civilian town, an amphitheater and the legionary castle.
The gladiator school, also called as ludus, spreads across 30,138 square feet or 2,800 square meters and is built around a central courtyard. The school was constructed during the second century AD, Live Science quoted Wolfgang Neubauer, University of Vienna as saying.
"The most prominent feature inside the courtyard is a free-standing circular structure 19 m [62 feet] in diameter, which could be interpreted as the training arena for the gladiators. This might be the foundation of the palus, a wooden pole used for exercising blows with the sword and body slams with the shield," Neubauer and his colleagues wrote in a journal.
Researchers have also detected some cell blocks, covering a 32 to 75 square feet area. A few rooms were more spacious and most likely had tile floors, which the researchers claim "were most likely reserved for the highest ranking gladiators or the instructors, many of whom probably were drawn from the ranks of senior and ex-gladiators."
Over the last couple of years, archaeologists have found the sketch of the school using non-invasive techniques, such as aerial photography, magnetometer surveys and ground-penetrating radar.
The archaeologists' team examined the area using electromagnetic induction (EMI) sensor. This method allowed the researchers to pass currents into the soil. Scientists, by determining the soil's magnetic susceptibility and electrical conductivity, could find out if the bottom of the earth has ever been heated, thus revealing the sites of hidden blocks.
The details of the findings have been published in the Antiquity Journal.
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