Archaeologists find out exactly what type of snacks were eaten by ancient Roman spectators in the gladiator arena

Anita Durairaj
Gladiator scene in a painting by Jean-Leon GeromePhoto; Public Domain Image

The Colosseum in Rome is considered to be the largest standing amphitheater in the world even today.

The Colosseum has been able to withstand the ravages of time. It was built almost 2000 years ago and founded around AD 70 - 80. The Colosseum is most famous for its stadium-like structure and the history of gladiator combat that occurred within its confines.

During its heyday, it could seat anywhere from 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. It was the center of gladiator fights, public executions, animal hunts, and other forms of "entertainment." It remains an iconic symbol of imperial Rome.

According to an article in Heritage Daily, archaeologists decided to study the ancient drains and sewer systems located underneath the Colosseum. The work began early in 2021.

Researchers used robots to explore the complex drainage system. They made some unique discoveries that contribute to an understanding of the ancient Romans who lived almost 2000 years ago.

Specifically, they discovered what type of snacks the Roman spectators enjoyed as they watched the "entertainment" in the Colosseum.

The snacks were surprisingly healthy by today's standards and were mainly comprised of fruits and nuts. These snacks included figs, grapes, cherries, blackberries, and walnuts.

The researchers were able to recover fruit seeds, stones, and pits from the ancient drainage system of the Colosseum to make this conclusion.

They also found other artifacts such as bronze coins dating to the late Imperial period (284 AD to 641) and clothing artifacts.

The Roman colosseum remains one of the most visited sites in the world.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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