Bones Abroad: Reporting from Italy

I am currently in Italy! In honor of this, check out Gladiator: Back From the Dead. This program done by the same group as the previous post on the Royal British Navy. The tales of six gladiators are told, using osteological remains as inspiration for the stories. From the skeletons of six men excavated in York, England, they are able to learn more about the life of the gladiator and discuss six potential occupations they may have engaged in based on their wounds and their bones.

One of the first skeletons excavated was a possible Bestiarii, a beast fighter who was not prepared for battle but rather was a slave or criminal who was set against wild animals like tigers. The evidence for this comes from a bite wound of large feline on the man’s scapula, the larger muscular attachments, and the young age at death (the twenties). A second individual was a potential¬†Retiarii. This was a net fighter who would have been known for his physical prowess and showmanship. The evidence for this comes from the muscular attachments on the body, and it was likely he survived these battles for at least twenty years, living into his forties.

Movies originally from Channel 4, Back from the Dead Series


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