Some of the most fascinating archeological discoveries are those that remind us that we're not that different from people who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago. Recently, a group of researchers devoted to unearthing the mysteries of the sewers of the Colosseum found evidence of the snacks that the audiences enjoyed during the sports events and performances that took place there.
The finding took place during a yearlong study in which archeologists excavated 1,900-year-old remnants of seeds and fruits such as nuts, olives, cherries, grapes, figs, blackberries, and peaches. On top of that, according to a statement from the Colosseum Archaeological Park, there were also traces of “meat cooked at the moment on improvised braziers, together with some pizza.”
These culinary vestiges aren't the only things they've found in the sewers. The team has also unearthed animal bones—remnants of bears, lions, dogs, and pigs that were forced to fight or used as prey in ancient hunting games. In addition to that, they also extracted 50 bronze coins from between the third and seventh centuries, and a commemorative silver coin from 171 CE that marks 10 years of rule of the emperor Marcus Aurelius.
The main goal of the expedition is to clear the sewers and lower passages of this stone amphitheater, which held over 50,000 spectators before it fell out of use around the year 523 CE. To do so, the researchers have used wire-guided robots, which have cleared 230 feet of sewer. The investigation will also shed light on how the spectacle managers flooded the venue's tunnels to depict naval battles and other shows for which an aquatic backdrop was needed.
“The Colosseum continues to tell us its stories, emerging clearly in the wider flow of great history,” writes the Colosseum Archaeological Park team. “Exposing the underground sewers, recovering the precious data of older investigations, we are studying to better understand the functioning of the ancient sewers and the hydraulics of the Flavian Amphitheater.”
Researchers found evidence of the snacks that the audiences enjoyed during the sporting events and performances that took place at the Colosseum almost 2,000 years ago.
A selection of fruit seeds, stones, & pits recovered from the drainage system of the Colosseum in #Rome, remains of the snacks eaten by #Roman spectators watching the games in the arena up to 1900 years ago #RomanArchaeology pic.twitter.com/qrSSRQUIYB
— Dr Jo Ball (@DrJEBall) July 2, 2022
These culinary vestiges aren't the only things they've found in the sewers. The team has also unearthed animal bones and bronze coins.
h/t: [Smithsonian Magazine]
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