Secrets of the Colosseum

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Secrets of the Colosseum

Postby Rhah » Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:00 pm

From Smithsonian:


The floor of the colosseum, where you might expect to see a smooth ellipse of sand, is instead a bewildering array of masonry walls shaped in concentric rings, whorls and chambers, like a huge thumbprint. The confusion is compounded as you descend a long stairway at the eastern end of the stadium and enter ruins that were hidden beneath a wooden floor during the nearly five centuries the arena was in use, beginning with its inauguration in A.D. 80. Weeds grow waist-high between flagstones; caper and fig trees sprout from dank walls, which are a patchwork of travertine slabs, tufa blocks and brickwork. The walls and the floor bear numerous slots, grooves and abrasions, obviously made with great care, but for purposes that you can only guess.

The guesswork ends when you meet Heinz-Jürgen Beste of the German Archaeological Institute in Rome, the leading authority on the hypogeum, the extraordinary, long-neglected ruins beneath the Colosseum floor. Beste has spent much of the past 14 years deciphering the hypogeum—from the Greek word for “underground”—and this past September I stood with him in the heart of the great labyrinth.

“See where a semicircular slice has been chipped out of the wall?” he said, resting a hand on the brickwork. The groove, he added, created room for the four arms of a cross-shaped, vertical winch called a capstan, which men would push as they walked in a circle. The capstan post rested in a hole that Beste indicated with his toe. “A team of workmen at the capstan could raise a cage with a bear, leopard or lion inside into position just below the level of the arena. Nothing bigger than a lion would have fit.” He pointed out a diagonal slot angling down from the top of the wall to where the cage would have hung. “A wooden ramp slid into that slot, allowing the animal to climb from the cage straight into the arena,” he said.

Just then, a workman walked above our heads, across a section of the arena floor that Colosseum officials reconstructed a decade ago to give some sense of how the stadium looked in its heyday, when gladiators fought to their death for the public’s entertainment. The footfalls were surprisingly loud. Beste glanced up, then smiled. “Can you imagine how a few elephants must have sounded?”

Rest of the article here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-a ... sseum.html
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Re: Secrets of the Colosseum

Postby Rapier09 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:33 am

Caligula in his wisdom once designed to feed part of the spectators to wild animals,he loved animals could care less for people but he loved the beasts.

Good man.
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Re: Secrets of the Colosseum

Postby rickshaw92 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:00 am

Gotta love Rome, bitchin city to visit.
Im reallly fuclimg pissed but fespite that I can still hit a tarfet at 1000m plus. mayVRVe bnot tonight but it qint beyond the wit if man. Nowhammy.
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Re: Secrets of the Colosseum

Postby Caliban » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:40 pm

rickshaw92 wrote:Gotta love Rome, bitchin city to visit.


The Christians didn't think so.
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Re: Secrets of the Colosseum

Postby Texas Carnie Roadshow » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:36 am

Caliban wrote:
rickshaw92 wrote:Gotta love Rome, bitchin city to visit.


The Christians didn't think so.


Til they took it over.
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Postby el3so » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:45 am

I remember cats and African prostitutes. Could be just me though.
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Re: Secrets of the Colosseum

Postby Rapier09 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:49 am

Less crackhead Gypsies who think they own the city?

Because it is apparently named after them...............
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Re:

Postby rickshaw92 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:07 am

el3so wrote:I remember cats and African prostitutes. Could be just me though.


I dont remember Afrowhores but I saw some big fookin cats. Lots of fookin gypsies too. The first time I went there were these flocks of starlings that looked like big black fast moving clouds and I saw lots of cars that had been parked under trees and they were totally covered with starling shit. Lots of dodgy lookin dudes hanging out across the street from Termini and really good ice cream.
Im reallly fuclimg pissed but fespite that I can still hit a tarfet at 1000m plus. mayVRVe bnot tonight but it qint beyond the wit if man. Nowhammy.
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Re: Re:

Postby Rapier09 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:45 pm

rickshaw92 wrote:
el3so wrote:I remember cats and African prostitutes. Could be just me though.


I dont remember Afrowhores but I saw some big fookin cats. Lots of fookin gypsies too. The first time I went there were these flocks of starlings that looked like big black fast moving clouds and I saw lots of cars that had been parked under trees and they were totally covered with starling shit. Lots of dodgy lookin dudes hanging out across the street from Termini and really good ice cream.


Did you kiss the Pope's toes?
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Re: Re:

Postby rickshaw92 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:25 pm

Rapier09 wrote:
rickshaw92 wrote:
el3so wrote:I remember cats and African prostitutes. Could be just me though.


I dont remember Afrowhores but I saw some big fookin cats. Lots of fookin gypsies too. The first time I went there were these flocks of starlings that looked like big black fast moving clouds and I saw lots of cars that had been parked under trees and they were totally covered with starling shit. Lots of dodgy lookin dudes hanging out across the street from Termini and really good ice cream.


Did you kiss the Pope's toes?



Are you posting with your finger up your ass?
Im reallly fuclimg pissed but fespite that I can still hit a tarfet at 1000m plus. mayVRVe bnot tonight but it qint beyond the wit if man. Nowhammy.
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Re: Re:

Postby coldharvest » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:45 pm

rickshaw92 wrote:Are you posting with your finger up your ass?

when hasn't he?
I know the law. And I have spent my entire life in its flagrant disregard.
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Re: Re:

Postby Rapier09 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:50 pm

Can you read?
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Re: Re:

Postby coldharvest » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:59 pm

Rapier09 wrote:Can you read?

ipso facto moron
I know the law. And I have spent my entire life in its flagrant disregard.
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Re: Secrets of the Colosseum

Postby Rapier09 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:02 pm

Wasn't asking you,I know you can't read.

I was asking the other guy,the snake handler over there.
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Re: Secrets of the Colosseum

Postby coldharvest » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:19 pm

Rapier09 wrote:Wasn't asking you

don't care
I know the law. And I have spent my entire life in its flagrant disregard.
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