Practice arena of the gladiators

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In cooperation with the Roman City Carnuntum, an international team from the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology (LBI-ArchPro) made a sensational discovery in 2011 which echoed throughout the entire world of science and archaeology. By using sophisticated geo radar methods in the area of the Civilian City, remains of a gladiator school in the immediate vicinity of the amphitheatre could be located. In its completeness and size, it is internationally unique with the distinctness of the building structures being comparable only to the ludus magnus in Rome.

Based on the prospections, parts of the ludus were uncovered during archaeological excavations in 2014 in order to gain more detailed insights into the practice arena of the gladiators. Subsequently, the arena was rebuilt in wood with an inner diameter of about 14 meters (46 Roman feet) and two rows of seats at exactly at the same spot where the original had stood around 1,700 years ago. The following year, the wooden reconstruction was first used before spectators for a public training of the newly founded Gladiator troop Familia Gladiatoria Carnuntina. It also featured as a film set for the Universum documentary " Carnuntum – City of Gladiators" co-produced by the Austrian State TV channel ORF, Smithsonian, France 5, SBS and BMBF.

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