Monday, February 19, 2007

Torture topped the bill in Roman Chester
A gladiatorial torture block has been discovered in the centre of the arena, which was once the largest in Roman Britain.

The huge stone slab, with an iron fitting fastened into the surface, would have been used for chaining victims during spectacles.

The find has astonished archaeologists, who now realise that two similar stones found in 1975 had been completely misinterpreted until now. They were believed to have simply marked a processional path.

Their real purpose was confirmed by an image of such stones in a mosaic of gladiators found at a Roman villa at Bignor, West Sussex, in the 19th century.