Saturday, February 17, 2007

Seating for 10,000 and free parking to boot

The Roman amphitheatre in Deva (modern Chester, England), constructed in the late first century, was the largest amphitheatre (that we know of) in Roman Britain. It may have been used for as little as 20 years before being converted into a municipal trash pit, then enjoyed a renovation and brief period of reuse in the late third century.

Local amateur historians have entertained the idea that the site hosted gladiatorial combat, but this morning, the Telegraph reports official confirmation of that purpose from the archaeological team that's been digging up the site for the past couple of years.

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the site last summer, and I took the photos below. Please compare them with the artist's conception in the Telegraph story; it's a good study in the kind of imagination one needs to use when visiting some of these sites.

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