The remains of an ancient Roman gladiator instructional facility were recently found in Austria by a team of archaeologists who have been studying the area for at least 100 years.
According to Discovery News, scientists unearthed the school in Carnuntum, a region located on the south bank of the River Danube. Beneath the ground, archaeologists found the building's cell blocks, a bathing room, and what appeared to be a training arena.
Researchers recreated the gladiator school using remote-sensing devices that led them to the extensive site in the first place. The techniques allowed them to rebuild a virtual 3D model of the building, giving a real-life glimpse of what the school might have looked like during the second century A.D., when it was in its prime.
The findings, published in Live Science, were the latest in a string of past excavations around the area that have led to the discovery of a military city and a local town.
"The most prominent feature inside the courtyard is a free-standing circular structure 19 meters [62 feet] in diameter, which could be interpreted as the training arena for the gladiators," study authors wrote in Antiquity.
University of Vienna rep Wolfgang Neubauer led the research, Discovery News reported. Neubauer said this area must have been encircled by stadium seats made of wood, adding that these structures could be seen in the radar information.
A gap that appeared to be a hole in the middle of the arena was especially intriguing, Neubauer wrote in his report.
"This might be the foundation of the palus, a wooden pole used for exercising blows with the sword and body slams with the shield," Neubauer and fellow authors wrote.
Archaeologists also found rooms in the southern wing of the building, with celled blocks measuring about 32 to 75 square feet.
Cell blocks that greatly resembled these have been found at the site of a gladiator school near the Flavian amphitheater in Rome.
Further into the building complex, scientists discovered bigger and more decorated rooms - ones they thought "were most likely reserved for the highest ranking gladiators or the instructors, many of whom probably were drawn from the ranks of senior and ex-gladiators."