Colosseum-Sized Amphitheater Uncovered Near Vienna

  @MarkJohansonIBT on August 31 2011 2:55 PM

Archeologists
Archeologists have uncovered the remains of an amphitheater outside of Vienna that was used to train gladiators. It is said to rival the size and scale of the Colosseum in Rome (pictured above). (Photo: REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi)

Archeologists working at the Archaeological Park Carnuntum east of Vienna, Austria claim to have found and excavated a huge amphitheater used to train gladiators.

The ruins were reportedly located through ground radar measurements. The measurements indicate that the structure of the ruins rivals both Ludus Magnus, the largest gladiatorial arena in Rome, and the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever built in the Roman Empire.

Since the Colosseum had the capacity to seat 50,000 spectators, one can assume that this amphitheater is on a similarly grand scale.

A statement on Tuesday from the Archaeological Park Carnuntum gave no details when the find was located or when it was excavated, though the site is expected to be presented to the media on Monday.

Part of a former Roman settlement, the park is roughly 25 miles (60 kilometers) east of Vienna.

Carnuntum was a military camp that was erected in the middle of the 1st century AD. It flourished under the protection of the legions and its location at the crossroads of the Amber road and the limes road also helped Carnuntum's inexorable rise to a Roman metropolis along the Danube. By 200 AD, Carnuntum was one of the most important metropolises in the Roman Empire, comparable to Ephesos, Cologne, Trier, or York. It was visited by several emperors, several of whom used it as their military headquarters when fighting neighboring peoples.

The metropolis sank into oblivion by the 5th Century after the withdrawal of the Romans.

To visit the archeological park or learn more about the Roman city of Carnuntum, visit:

http://www.carnuntum.co.at/visiting-carnuntum/your-visit-in-carnuntum

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