Carnuntum 2017

Panem et circenses – Bread and games

New discoveries regarding gladiatorial games in Roman Carnuntum (press release 2017)

After the discovery of the gladiator school in 2011, the researchers of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology (LBI ArchPro) and the ZAMG (Austrian Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics) have done a complete scan of the ancient town of Carnuntum (east of Vienna, Austria) by using ground penetrating radar.

The scientists have revealed, without excavation, an entire city area next to the amphitheater, containing bakeries, taverns and shops – an essential infrastructure for Roman spectacles. Hidden under the later city wall, the radar system detected the remains of a wooden amphitheater located at an intersection of a road that followed the Roman frontier (Danube Limes) and the main road leading back to Rome; a temple for the Quadriviae (Roman goddesses of the cross-roads) was located right next to the building. With this information, yet another chapter could be added to the early history of Roman Carnuntum, one which underlines the significance of Bread and Games on the frontier of the Roman Empire.

This press release was published in German, English, Slovenian, Spanish and Arabic and attracted a lot of attention in the media worldwide.



Wolfgang Neubauer
Wolfgang Neubauer
Professor of Archaeology

My research interests include Archaeological Stratigraphy, Geophysical Prospection and 3D Laser Scanning.