Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Gladiator Skeletons Arrive In Durham

The Gladiators: A Cemetery of Secrets exhibition is the result of a joint venture between York Archaeological Trust and Durham County Council. The exhibition occupies the former Visitor Information Centre at Millennium Place and will run until March 31st 2012. 

The skeletons, which were the subject of a Channel 4 documentary aired last year, were first uncovered by York Archaeological Trust archaeologists at Driffield Terrace in York during an excavation that ran between 2004 and 2005.  80 burials were excavated at the site, of which 60 were mostly complete skeletons. Almost all were male and the majority were adults.

An expert from Durham University has played a key role in the latest research into the origins of the Driffield Terrace skeletons. Teaching fellow in the Department of Archaeology, Dr Anwen Caffell, worked with Malin Holst of York Osteoarchaeology Ltd to review some of the injuries, illnesses and ages of selected skeletons. Their work has helped prove some existing theories, but has also introduced further debate about the evidence.

Says Kurt Hunter-Mann, field officer at York Archaeological Trust who led the original excavation, "The skeletons have been the centre of much global interest over the last year and have been the subject of ongoing debate as to how they came to be lying decapitated in the large cemetery site. 

More at Gladiator Skeletons Arrive In Durham - This is Durham