Gladiators fought in Roman Britain, action-packed cremation urn carvings reveal

The Colchester Vase, crafted around 175 AD, on display at Colchester Castle Museum in the UK (Image credit: Carole Raddato; (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Vivid depictions of gladiators fighting on a clay vase are the first concrete evidence that these fighters took it in Roman Britain, according to new research.

The vase, known as the Colchester vase, is well known to researchers. it was discovered in a Roman-era tomb in Britain in 1853 and holds the cremated remains of an individual. However, nothing was known about the deceased and it was unclear whether the vase had been made in the region or in continental Europe, where gladiatorial contests were known to entertain audiences in Roman Empire.

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