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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Amphitheatre reopens 2,000 years on
Amphitheatre
Neon fighting gladiators at London's amphitheatre
A Roman amphitheatre in the centre of London will open to the public on Tuesday for the first time in nearly 2,000 years.

Archaeologists unearthed the site, the only one of its kind in the capital, in 1988 and have been restoring it since then.

Factfile
The amphitheatre was discovered in 1988
Wooden drains were also found on the site
The site was later used as a "somewhat squalid" Saxon settlement
There may have been a Saxon palace in the area at some time
Amphitheatres were the centre of "entertainment" in the Roman world
Entertainment consisted of gladiatorial combat, brutal blood sports and the public execution of criminals

Now, 14 years after its discovery, the amphitheatre, which lies in Guildhall Yard, has been fully excavated.

London was one of the largest towns in Roman Britain and one of the Empire's most significant settlements outside the Mediterranean.

A spokesman for the Museum of London said that while the work has helped make London one of the best understood of Roman towns, there has been little to see until now.

Nick Bateman, senior project manager for the Museum of London Archaeology Service, is due to explain the significance of the discovery at a conference in the new City of London Marketing Suite.

Jonathan Charkham, chief commoner of the Corporation of London, will also explain how the amphitheatre was first discovered.


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See also:

17 May 02 | England
16 May 02 | England
10 May 02 | England
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